Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.
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BEMIDJI—From Industrial Park to the downtown region in Bemidji and beyond, the local economy is both expanding and diversifying. Want proof? A recent ranking of America's fastest growing companies included four from Bemidji. In this year's list of 5,000 fastest-growing companies compiled by Inc. magazine, local companies AirCorps Aviation, Choice Therapy, Karvakko Engineering and EXB Solutions all made the rankings. With four companies listed, Bemidji showed more growth than other, larger Minnesota towns outside the Twin Cities metro area. For example, Brainerd, St.
BEMIDJI -- For the first time in its history, the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association will host its annual conference in Bemidji, and the organization hopes it can learn all it can from the first city on the Mississippi. Breanne Rothstein, president of the Minnesota APA, said the conference, which is entering its 44th year, is an event where municipal staff meet to see how other cities operate in regard to planning.
BEMIDJI -- While solar panels absorb rays from the sun today at Harmony Foods Cooperative, its staff and customers will be celebrating a grant that it was recently awarded, which will aid the grocery and wellness store with its renewable energy project. The project, which was to add solar panels to the building, began in 2014 after an energy audit was completed in the spring.
BEMIDJI -- The city of Bemidji moved one step closer Monday to completing litigation work for repairs to fix rainwater leaks at the Sanford Center following the approval of five tentative settlement agreements. The negotiations, taking place between Bemidji and multiple companies, began when rainwater leaks were discovered in the Sanford Center's ballroom and service corridor areas. Since then, the city has been meeting with numerous companies to reach settlements on various types of repairs.
BEMIDJI—A new nonprofit organization is headed for Bemidji this month for a fundraiser to help involve more Native American youth in outdoor activities. Bryant Swenson, a 2013 graduate of BSU, along with his brother Dustin, are the founders of Tribal Fishing Adventures and have arranged for their nonprofit to hold its first fundraiser at the American Indian Resource Center on the BSU campus. According to Swenson, the fundraiser, scheduled for Sept.
BEMIDJI -- Since its creation in 1998, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation Women's Fund has bestowed upon an area person the title of Community Builder. Instead of using brick and mortar, though, these women utilize leadership, mentoring and professional excellence to make their communities a better place to live. One of this year's community builders, Beltrami County Administrator Kay Mack, is being honored with a reception Friday for her work in the public sector.
BEMIDJI -- The Beltrami County Board of Commissioners approved the 2016 property tax levy Tuesday, which will be 6.96 percent higher than its 2015 counterpart. In 2015, the levy totaled $18,827,249. Approved during the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday for 2016 was a levy of $20,137,494, an increase of $1,310,245. On average, Beltrami County Administrator Kay Mack said, the levy will result in about a 2 percent increase for Beltrami County residents.
BEMIDJI -- In a presentation at a Bemidji City Council work session Monday, Finance Director Ron Eischens explained why city staff are recommending a 3 percent increase for both water and sewer rates in 2016. Eischens said the utility rate data presented Monday was made to reflect a five-year window from 2016 to 2020.
BEMIDJI -- Despite having to deal with higher amounts of traffic with school back in session, the Minnesota Department of Transportation's overpass project over U.S. Highway 2 is expected to be completed ahead of schedule. "It's been right on schedule," said project engineer Troy Strassburg. "We have a completion date of Oct. 17, but I suspect they could be finishing two weeks ahead. There haven't been any issues from traffic, either. It's been working really well with people using the detour."
BEMIDJI—In a presentation at a Bemidji City Council work session Monday, Finance Director Ron Eischens explained why city staff are recommending a 3 percent increase for both water and sewer rates in 2016. Eischens said the utility rate data presented Monday was made to reflect a five-year window from 2016 to 2020. "We put together historical expenses and Craig (Gray, public works director and city engineer) and his staff put together a plan with all of their projects and we also have the debt component," Eischens said before the meeting.