BEMIDJI -- As part of a yearly permit requirement, the Bemidji Public Works Department informed the City Council Monday about efforts to maintain storm sewer systems.

According to Public Works Director Craig Gray, the department completed 16 site plan reviews to ensure compliance with city and state runoff requirements in 2019. The city also inspected the condition of 51 of the city's 177 city storm sewer outlets, as well as three of the 29 city storm water ponds.

The city also did erosion control inspections at 38 residential and commercial sites.

As part of the operations, the department cleaned 941 feet of storm sewer pipes. Also, in 2019, the city removed 516 cubic yards of materials through street sweeping work. Public works staff also removed 18 cubic yards of material from storm sewer outfalls in ditches.

As part of the municipal separate storm sewer system, or MS4, permit, the city is required to hold an annual update and public hearing on the subject.

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Another subject brought before the council Monday was a proposal from the Bemidji Downtown Alliance to increase parking permit costs. The BDA manages the parking program through an agreement with the city, with the objective of moving employee parking off the street, allowing more spaces for customers.

Permits are bought by businesses and organizations in August and the changes proposed would be effective this year.

The changes are as follows:

  • In Lot 2, an increase from $100 to $103.
  • In Lot 3, an increase from $150 to $155.
  • In Lot 4, an increase from $125 to $129.
  • In Lot 5, an increase from $100 to $103.
  • In Lot 6, an increase from $96 to $99.

  • In Lot 7, an increase from $150 to $155.

The council approved the changes Monday.