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Fire district, lighting project up for discussion by Bemidji City Council

A funding source for a potential fire district and a redistricting map are among the topics that will be considered during the Bemidji City Council meeting this week.

A funding source for a potential fire district and a redistricting map are among the topics that will be considered during the Bemidji City Council meeting this week.

The council, due to the Monday holiday, will convene for a regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

Topics in the meeting also include the lighting project for the Lake Bemidji West Shore Trail, founding of a new city commission and a public hearing on a bond sale.

Fire district

Councilors will consider a resolution that will request from the Legislature special assessment authority.

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For more than a year, the city of Bemidji and rural fire association have been exploring the idea of creating a fire district.

Investigation into the idea showed that if a fire district was created and funded with property taxes, the townships would bear a higher percentage of the functions of the fire department due to the amount of nontaxable property in the city.

Now, supporters are looking into the idea of obtaining assessment authority to apply special assessments to all properties, which would then be used to fund a fire district.

Redistricting

The proposed redistricting map will be considered for adoption.

Redistricting is done every 10 years in response to the U.S. Census. The city's redistricting affects the boundaries of city wards.

The proposed map, available in the city's website by going to this week's agenda packet, drastically changes wards 4 and 2. Ward 3 also is changed a bit.

There are little changes proposed for wards 5 and 1.

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Ward 2 is proposed to include the northeast side portion of the city, taking over an area now included in ward 4. Changes are then made to the boundaries of both wards 4 and 3.

West Shore Trail

The council will consider the lighting project for the Lake Bemidji West Shore Trail, which, if approved, would be a partnership with Bemidji State University.

The low quote on the project is $20,790, including an alternate bid for LED lights, which is recommended for approval by Craig Gray, the city engineer/public works director.

Bessler Brothers provided the low quote and Gray noted in a memo that the firm did "an excellent job" with the recent lighting project in the Industrial Park.

If approved, it means that BSU and the city will each contribute $15,000 to the project (about $7,000 more was already approved for engineering, inspection and project management), which is $5,000 less for each entity than originally projected.

Bond sale

A public hearing will be held on the city selling revenue bonds on behalf of Sanford Health.

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