BEMIDJI -- Road construction plans for the city of Bemidji are continuing to take shape.
On Monday, April 19, the Bemidji City Council approved moving forward, with one project, and set design work in motion for another. The approved project will reconstruct nearly three blocks of Fifth Street Northwest from Irvine Avenue to Beltrami Avenue.
Last year, the city completed the reconstruction of America Avenue Northwest, from Fourth Street to an intersection on Fifth Street. This year, the city intends to continue work in the area.
During their meeting, the council approved a bid from Sparky's Construction at a cost of $373,000 for the project. When including design, engineering and inspection costs, the total amount comes to an estimated $429,000.
To assist in paying for the project the council also approved using $353,000 in state construction aid. Construction is set to start after July 4 and be completed by Labor Day.
The other project is paving work on Elliot Road Northeast, from Lake Avenue to Big Bass Road. Earlier this year, the city, in coordination with Northern Township, applied for a $604,809. state grant.
Initially, the state was to announce grants in May, but the timeline was pushed back to June. To get some of the work finished in advance, staff recommended authorizing a memorandum of understanding between the city and Northern Township to split non-eligible grant costs 50/50.
The council authorized the memorandum, and approved a bid from Northern Engineering and Consulting for $18,000 to cover design and bidding services. Because the costs will be split, the city and township will each contribute $9,000.
The total project is estimated at $695,809.
Improvements to North Country Park were also approved Monday by the council. During the meeting, a quote of $63,540 from Frenzel Construction was approved for the park, located at 1001 30th St.
In 2019, the council approved a memorandum of understanding between the Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department and the Bemidji Rotary Club outlining a funding agreement. Additionally, a committee to facilitate the project was established.
Since 2019, the committee has worked to engage the community, recruit volunteers, complete final design work and fundraise the project. In June 2020, designs for the project were approved for the park.
The project will include adding equipment made out of native plants, hills and trees in the park, making a natural playground. As part of the project, the Bemidji Rotary Club is contributing $30,000.