BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji City Council on Monday approved assessments for homes benefitted from two road projects in 2020.

One of the projects was spread over several roads while the other was on a single street. The former was part of the city's Street Renewal Program, now in its 12th year.

Annually, the city will select segments of roads, often in the same area, to be reconstructed. In 2020, those roadways were:

  • Riverside Drive Northeast, from Lake Avenue to Country Lane.
  • Country Lane Northeast, from Riverside Drive to Greenbriar Lane.
  • Greenbriar Lane Northeast, from Lake Avenue to Country Lane.
  • Ivy Lane Northeast, from Riverside Drive to Greenbriar Lane
  • Gould Avenue Southeast, from Second Street to Fourth Street.
  • Wilson Avenue Southeast, from Third Street to Fourth Street.
  • 27th Street Northwest, from Park Avenue to Irvine Avenue.
  • 29th Street Northwest, from Park Avenue to Irvine Avenue.

As it has been in previous years, the assessments amount to $38 per lineal foot of roadway reconstructed. Additionally, connections to either water services or sanitary sewer lines is an assessment of $1,070.

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In total, the project came to $857,191 and the assessments amounted to $161,501, or about 19%. The assessments will be spread over a 15 year period with an interest rate of 2%.

The other project for the city was the reconstruction of nearly four blocks on Birchmont Drive Northeast from 10th Street to 14th Street. Along with resurfacing, the project replaced underground utilities, curb, gutters and sidewalks.

The project came to $811,794, and the assessments amounted to $78,353, or about 10% of the total. Similar to the other project, the assessments will be spread over a 15 year period with 2% interest.

Another infrastructure related agenda item Monday was a project for the city's water wells. The city is now constructing a new water treatment plant located near its water wells, which are east of the Bemidji Regional Airport.

The plant will remove chemicals called perfluorocarbons, or PFCs, to meet standards set by state agencies. The chemicals were previously used in firefighting foams, and were discovered in the groundwater in the last several years.

In June, the city awarded a $6.06 million bid to Rice Lake Contracting to begin the first phase of the project. Additionally, the city approved $440,000 to Barr Engineering for design and inspection work, bringing the total to $7.34 million.

The next phase of the project will be to expand the facility, increasing the amount of water it can treat at a time. In a recent special session, the Minnesota Legislature approved a bonding bill with $10.1 million for the next phase of the project.

On Monday, the council learned that as part of the project, work also needs to be done on two of the city's water wells to ensure they can supply water through the plant at a proper pressure. During the meeting, the council authorized awarding a quote of $69,150 to the Maple Plain-based company Bergerson-Caswell. City staff said Monday that the other three wells will be upgraded in the future, too.