Bemidji City Council to discuss rental code, allocation of American Rescue Plan funds

The Bemidji City Council will discuss potential amendments to the city’s rental code, alongside a conversation on how to allocate federal American Rescue Plan funds.

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BEMIDJI — The Bemidji City Council will have a busy agenda for tonight’s meeting, as it’s set to have discussions on the city’s rental code and American Rescue Plan funds, among other topics.

The council’s discussion on rental code follows a public listening session last week, amid the council’s ongoing process to update the code which was last altered in 2011.

Prior to the listening session, the council had terminated a previous ordinance process to adopt a new rental code that had been in development for over a year under a special committee, asking for more public input and the addition of alternative language.

Now the council will revisit the discussion as it seeks to move forward.

Also on the agenda is a conversation on the allocation of ARP funds, which the federal government distributed across the country to help mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bemidji received $1.7 million in 2021 as a part of the program and has spent $207,000 so far. ARP funds are required to be spent or have contracts in place for their spending by the end of 2024.

Another topic on the agenda is to consider an amendment to a contract for the Gillett Lift Station project that will require a process to treat water for PFAS chemicals. The original estimate for the portable water treatment was $80,000, but after revisiting the project’s needs it is closer to $180,000.

The council will also consider a request from the Sanford Event Center to update its administrative offices and will discuss a process for the upcoming review of City Manager Nate Mathews.

The city council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. tonight, Feb. 21, at City Hall. The meeting can also be viewed on the city's website,

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