BEMIDJI -- An increase for various city fees for 2020 were approved Monday night by the City Council.

Changes to the city's fee schedule for 2020 include increases to water fees and a rise in the permit application fee for tax increment finance assistance.

Tax increment financing is a tool Minnesota cities can use to create a district where additional property taxes can be generated by new real estate, which is then used to pay off the expenses of development or redevelopment. The fee has been increased from $7,500 to $15,000. According to city officials the increase was based on the consulting and legal fees that come with establishing a TIF district.

For water rates, city officials said increases are based on infrastructure needs in the coming years. Those needs include the city building and acquiring new treatment systems for the water wells and wastewater treatment plant.

Water rate increases include:

  • For buildings using 0 to 10,000 gallons of water per month, the rate will go from $3.84 to $4.03 per thousand gallons.
  • Facilities using 10,001 to 50,000 gallons per month will see an increase from $4.41 to $4.53 per thousand gallons.
  • Buildings using more than 50,000 gallons per month will have an increase from $5.29 to $5.55 per thousand gallons.

Increases are also reflected in the city's Parks and Recreation Department. The city park building rental fee is increasing from $200 to $225, while the cost to rent the pavilion at Diamond Point Park is going from $100 to $120.

At the recently remodeled Carnegie Library, renting the upper level Lakeview Room is $300 for eight hours and $175 for four hours. After eight hours, the cost becomes $25 per hour. Those looking to rent the facility must also cover a $250 safety deposit. The new fee schedule also includes a 15 percent discount at the Carnegie for nonprofit organizations.

Along with the fee schedule, the council briefly discussed another ordinance related to parking rules. There will be a public meeting on the proposed new ordinance at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

The new ordinance would set parking rules for recreational camping vehicles, motor homes, boat trailers, construction trailers and fish house trailers. One of the rules would prohibit those vehicles from parking on or within the limits of any street, right-of-way or municipal park in a residential area between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Additionally, the draft ordinance states at no time will any of those vehicles or trailers be left on a city street, right-of-way or city parking lot unattached from a motorized vehicle.

Bemidji City Hall is located at 317 Fourth St. NW. The ordinance is available online for reading at www.ci.bemidji.mn.us.