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Recent decisions made by the Bemidji City Council have impacted the city's ability to repair and restructure streets, the city's engineers said Monday. This summer, councilors voted in favor of a 9.9 percent levy increase, which replaces the $260,000 lost in Local Government Aid for next year. Additionally, the council voted previously to transfer liquor store profits and utility fees to the general fund - both of which had been used to fund street maintenance. The council on Oct. 8 voted to pursue raising gas and electric fees by 50 percent.
A lot can change in two weeks. The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce two weeks ago held a meeting in which the business community expressed unanimous support of the proposed events center. During a follow-up meeting on Wednesday, that support was questionable. So what changed? The council now is reportedly considering relocating the events center project from downtown to the south shore of Lake Bemidji, according to Chamber of Commerce President Mike Smith. The City Council has met twice since Oct. 15 in closed sessions to discuss the potential purchase of land.
Word Weavers, an online group for authors, poets and others interested in literature, has selected Bemidji author and playwright Roy C. Booth as the Featured Author of the Week. "I'm excited about it," Booth said. Word Weavers members meet to share ideas, post news and tidbits, and promote different literary works, usually in the fields of science fiction, horror or mystery. The online group, accessible at myspace.com/weaversofword, offers a blog, book reviews and trading card program.
The city's new public works facility is being constructed to accommodate future growth. The project may not be glamorous, like the Diamond Point Park reconstruction, but it will result in a functional facility, said Public Works Director Andy Mack. "This is the nuts and bolts," he said. "This is where the work gets done." The nearly $8 million facility, located north of Fifth Street Northwest, is expected to be done by Aug. 1, 2008, although city employees may begin occupying the building late next spring, Mack said.
The Bemidji City Council is eyeing the south shore. The council met during a 90-minute closed meeting on Monday to discuss the potential acquisition of land on the southeast shore of Lake Bemidji. City Attorney Al Felix offered a recap of the council meeting in which he stated that the council has directed City Manager John Chattin to negotiate with the property owners to acquire some, if not all, of the land on the southeast shore. The council is looking at all of the property on the southeast shore, but whether the city of Bemidji ends up buying "part of or all of it in the end" remains t
A Bemidji woman was killed and her husband and daughter were injured Thursday morning in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 2 at Railroad Avenue in Proctor, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Julie A. Christensen, 43, died when the eastbound minivan in which she was a passenger lost control when it hydro-planed on water over the highway. It crossed into the westbound lane and was struck broadside by a Chevrolet wagon. The accident happened shortly before 10:30 a.m. Kevin D. Christensen, 41, of Bemidji, the driver of the minivan, was listed in good condition at St.
The Headwaters Regional Development Commission has changed its mind. The HRDC earlier this month said it would terminate its contract with the city of Bemidji as the project coordinator for the events center. However, Executive Director Cliff Tweedale said Friday he did not ask the HRDC's commission for permission to terminate the contract during its meeting Thursday as he previously had expected to do. Instead, Tweedale asked the commission for permission to allow him to terminate the contract if he deems it necessary at a later date. The 25-member commission supported Tweedale on his req
The Bemidji City Council held a public hearing on Monday on the Bemidji Avenue/Highway 197 reconstruction project. One resident, John Carlson, asked for clarification on assessment charges for those who live on corner lots of Bemidji Avenue and nearby streets that underwent reconstruction already. "It appears we're paying for water and sewer twice," Carlson said. Mayor Richard Lehmann said residents on corner lots will only be charged once for each utility. City Engineer Craig Gray referenced Carlson's situation and said his property is scheduled to be assessed for water main improvements
Paul Bunyan is going for a walk. The Bemidji City Council unanimously approved an unusual art project during Monday's meeting in which Paul Bunyan's footprints will depict a tour of a pair of art sites downtown. Paula Swenson of Bemidji submitted the request in which giant footprints will be stenciled on the roadway leading from the Paul and Babe statues at the waterfront to the former site of the Great River Gallery to the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts and then back to the waterfront. Giant nose and handprints will be placed on the windows of the buildings where Paul "stops" to l
John McRae will be leaving the city of Bemidji's Park and Recreation Commission. The Bemidji City Council voted unanimously to have staff prepare an amended ordinance that requires members of that commission to live within the city limits. Appointments to the commission had not previously been restricted to city residents. The commission reviewed the issue during its Oct.