Bemidji City Council to finalize end of year items at tonight's meeting

At its meeting Monday, the Bemidji City Council will approve the 2022 tax levy and budget, as well as several infrastructure projects.

City of Bemidji web art .jpg

BEMIDJI -- An agenda full of items to take action on before the end of the year will be before the Bemidji City Council on Monday.

The council is scheduled to take action on items ranging from infrastructure to next year's tax levy. Regarding the former, the council will take action on both local and state infrastructure.

The state infrastructure is specifically a section of Minnesota Highway 197 , from Gillett Drive to Bemidji Avenue. Over the last several years, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has been examining the corridor for improvements, as it's expected to have 20,500 cars per day by 2030.

After the council rejected MnDOT's initial proposal for improvements in 2019 , which included the addition of six roundabouts, the agency has been working with a community review panel on what changes should be designed in a future reconstruction.

On Monday, the council will have the option of either moving forward on one roundabout at the Menards entrance as part of the corridor's reconstruction, or three roundabouts for the stretch of road. Both MnDOT and city design staff are supportive of the three roundabout option, according to city documents.


After choosing the council chooses its preferred option, MnDOT will then be able to move forward with the design process. Once that's finalized, the council will vote on the project as a whole.

Locally, the council is anticipated to take action on the annual Street Renewal Program. As part of the program, the city reconstructs several streets, often in a cluster. For 2022, the city is planning to reconstruct 0.8 miles of road.

Roads planned for reconstruction in 2022 include 10th Street Northeast, Dewey Avenue Northeast, Ridgeway Avenue Northwest and Spruce Street Northwest. The total cost of the reconstruction is $1.79 million.

Financially, the council is expected to approve a tax levy of $7.13 million for 2022, an increase of $619,165 or 9.5% from 2021. When new construction and property taxes are factored in, though, the increase is estimated at 8.5%.

That amount was the preliminary tax levy approved by the council in September. City documents show staff is recommending moving forward with that amount.

The council will also take action on the 2022 budget, which is expected to have expenses totaling $49.9 million.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall and can also be viewed online on the city's website.

What To Read Next
"I am so proud of our talented students and the amazing things they were able to accomplish during this challenging production," said Director Jeremiah Liend.
The Park Rapids Friendly Squares will hold a square dance from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 at Century School, 501 Helton Ave.
Long-time city councilor Ron Johnson, who will no longer be able to run for Ward 3 on the Bemidji City Council following redistricting, has filed as a candidate for the upcoming Ward 1 election.
Among $8.6 million in federal funding recently announced for tribal nations and communities throughout Minnesota, $850,000 will fund renovations for Leech Lake's Ahnji-Be-Mah-Diz Recovery Center.