BEMIDJI -- After years of operating at a deficit, the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning operation is expected to function with a surplus in 2020.
During its meeting Wednesday, the GBA Joint Planning Board approved a budget with a net income of $1,911 for 2020. According to Planning Director Casey Mai, the income for 2020 is projected at $320,161 while expenses are budgeted at $318,250.
"We had a contribution change from the local government units," Mai said. "The biggest change reflected in our budget is over the last year we worked with the city and Northern Township on extending the original joint powers agreement for another 10 years."
In 2018 and 2019, the contributions from the city of Bemidji and Northern Township came to a total of $214,027. For 2020, though, the amount was boosted to $228,411. According to JPB documents, in 2020 the township will provide $57,103, the city will contribute $164,963 and the Bemidji Regional Airport will give $6,345.
"Previously, we had been operating at a deficit," Mai said. "The city and township had been locked into their agreement, but we had enough money in our reserves to get us by."
In 2019, for example, the expense total came to $317,237 while the income for the JPB was $308,227.
Another aspect to next year's budget Mai said was incorporated was planning for the city's up coming annexation of Northern Township property. Next year, as part of an agreement reached in 2004, the city will absorb land extending north from Anne Street to Lakewood Drive, northwest to U.S. Highway 71 and westward to the airport.
This will be the third and final phase of the city annexing sections of Northern Township included in the 2004 agreement.
"We've seen quite a few land use permits that have come in that are in the 2020 annexation," Mai said. "We incorporate those fees from the permit applications. So we're going to lose a chunk of that because with the annexation, when a permit comes in, it will go through the city's Building Department, and we won't see that income. So we're preparing for that."