CITY GOVERNMENT: Council approves Phase 2 of Northern Township annexation

BEMIDJI -- Phase 2 in an annexation plan created in 2003 moved forward Monday as the Bemidji City Council approved a resolution acquire parcels of land from Northern Township.

BEMIDJI -- Phase 2 in an annexation plan created in 2003 moved forward Monday as the Bemidji City Council approved a resolution acquire parcels of land from Northern Township.

City Attorney Alan Felix said after the meeting that the 2003 plan, the Joint Resolution for Orderly Annexation, made certain parcels of land eligible in three phases, the first in 2010, the second in 2015 and the final in 2020.

The resolution has three parties, including the city of Bemidji, Bemidji Township and Northern Township; however, Monday's vote in favor of Phase 2 annexation only impacts Northern Township because of ongoing litigation involving the city and Bemidji Township.

A motion was made and carried by the council Monday to approve the resolution. The resolution will now go to the State Office of Municipal Boundary Adjustments and the expectation is that they will approve it and the land will become part of Bemidji. Felix said the process takes about 30-45 days.

An item regarding a development agreement for a housing project originally scheduled for the meeting's consent agenda was added to the regular session by Mayor Rita Albrecht to gather more information, because the contract being presented was still in draft form.


The development agreement is between Bemidji, the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board and Cedar Pointe Estates and is for a multi-family housing project to be built north of 15th Street Northwest and west of Norton Avenue Northwest.

The recommendation from city staff was to approve the draft version of the agreement and to authorize officials to execute the final agreement with Cedar Pointe Estates.

In response to Albrecht's response for more information, Felix said that while the agreement was currently in a draft form, it already had security features such as assurances of bonds, warranty and insurance.

After further discussion, a motion was made and carried to approve the draft agreement and authorize finalization. The developer hopes to start construction yet this year.

A resolution requiring action from the council Monday was to order a feasibility report for the city's 2016 street renewal project. The goal is to select upcoming street segments in the fall so the preliminary survey information can be acquired before snowfall.

For 2016, the street segments proposed include:

  • Park Avenue Northwest from Eighth Street to 15th Street.

  • 26th Street Northeast from Bemidji Avenue to Birchmont Drive.

  • Kay Avenue Southeast from Third Street to Second Street.

The resolution passed.
Also Monday, a first reading was held for a proposed amendment to the laws regarding the use of skateboards, roller skates and roller blades. The amendment would recognize their use and relax the strict ban of conveyances in the downtown area as well as use of the recreational trails.

A second reading, which will also include a public hearing, will be held at the Nov. 16 meeting, with a final reading at the first meeting in December.


Mayana Rice, administrator for the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board, also updated council members on the board’s upcoming budget.

She said permits have brought in additional income to the JPB and the board isn't asking for an increase in its budget and is requesting the regular contribution from the city of $84,327.

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