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In the smorgasbord of items before the Bemidji City Council, the events center may be the main course, but it's not the only dish, Mayor Richard Lehmann said Monday. "We have a lot on our plate," he said. The council chambers at Bemidji City Hall were nearly at capacity during Monday's council meeting, during which two people addressed the council. Michael Beard with J.C.
Monday may prove to be a key date for the events center project -or maybe not. The council is not scheduled to take any action on the events center during the 7 p.m.
The Bemidji City Council has a full agenda for Monday's 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall. The Headwaters School for Music and the Arts is asking permission to footprints throughout the city on Nov. 1. The "Art Attack!" event is planned to bring attention to the Great River Gallery and the school. The giant, stenciled, chalk footprints would begin at the Paul Bunyan and Babe statue, go down Third Street, stop at the former great River Gallery, then continue along Minnesota Avenue to the Headwaters School for the Music and Arts.
Keith Nathan Head, 26, of Bemidji, pleaded innocent on Oct. 8 to a charge of kidnapping (unsafe release), a serious felony. His next court date is Dec. 18. Head is accused of kidnapping a former girlfriend, holding her against her will and assaulting her. According to the criminal complaint, the Bemidji Police Department received a call on Sept. 6 about a woman who was trying to escape from a man in a vehicle in the 1900 block of Delton Avenue Northwest. Police responded and located the suspect vehicle, which turned into a driveway.
BSU hockey can't wait another year, according to hockey officials who attended Wednesday's business meeting on the proposed Bemidji events center. City Councilor Jerry Downs on Wednesday said the city is working with Bemidji State University to try to reach a lease agreement on the proposed events center. He would prefer to delay the project one year rather than continue forward without a specific proposal, Downs said. "You can't put a square peg in a round hole," he said. "We're not going to force this project." If questions are still unanswered by Dec.
Not a single hand went up when Mike Smith asked for a display from those in the business community who were opposed to the Bemidji events center. And when he asked who was in favor of the project, every person raised a hand. Smith, the president of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, led a meeting for the business community Wednesday night to address the proposed events center. The meeting was held to galvanize support for the project. "I just felt that we as a business community need to weigh in on this," Smith said. He stressed that the community voted in favor of the project.
The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce will host a meeting for the business community tonight to discuss the events center project. The meeting is intended for businesses and will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Paul Bunyan Telephone Multi Media Center. Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce President Mike Smith sent an e-mail on Tuesday urging participation. "It's time for the Bemidji business community to come together and keep this moving forward to the next step," the e-mail said. Smith said the business community has until Monday to "get this project back on track."
A discussion on a proposed increase to the city's gas and electric fees culminated with a face-off between two Bemidji City Council members. Councilors Nancy Erickson and Onen Markeson ex-changed words Monday as they argued whether increasing fees was a way to raise taxes without raising the city's tax levy. Markeson argued that raising fees was the same as raising taxes without considering the low-income population.
Cliff Tweedale, the executive director of the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, said it is time for the Bemidji City Council to decide whether it truly wants to pursue the events center project. "Up to this point, everybody has been reasonably cautious, he said.
The Headwaters Regional Development Commission plans to terminate its contract with the city of Bemidji regarding its work as the events center project coordinator. HRDC Executive Director Cliff Tweedale sent an e-mail stating his intentions to Mayor Richard Lehmann and City Manager John Chattin on Thursday. "Right now, my sentiment is that this project is best housed with the city," Tweedale said in a Friday interview. The City Council voted 6-1 on July 16 to hire the HRDC as the events center project coordinator. Councilor Roger Hellquist cast the dissenting vote.