BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council will convene for a longer-than-normal work session Monday to discuss several hot community topics.

The session, labeled as a retreat by city staff, allows the council to meet for several hours without having to only focus on a single subject. The last retreat was held in October, as well as July of last year and also in 2017 and 2016.

"The new Community Development Director (Steve Jones) has been here for about a month and he's going to be reviewing some things," City Manager Nate Mathews said. "We want to get some direction from the council on a few initiatives we've been looking at, like the small cities development block grant program and a downtown storefront grant."

At the retreats last year, Mathews said the council discussed seven areas of focus. They were the wastewater treatment plant, water wells, growth management, the new municipal liquor store, the rental housing code, the Rail Corridor and cooperation between the Sanford Center and the community.

"We're going to talk about those things and see if they're still relevant," Mathews said. "We can also introduce them to some new concepts and see where they want to take them."