Organizations have one month left to apply for county development fund

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BEMIDJI -- Local organizations and programs will be able to apply for nearly $100,000 over the next month.

Applications for the county's Development Fund Grant program are due on Oct. 13. According to County Administrator Kay Mack, the fund can be used for economic, agricultural and industrial development, as well as tourism.

"It gets its dollars from our annual sales of timber and forfeited properties," Mack said. "By the end of the year, we have a formula that divides those dollars to school districts, townships, cities, county parks, and then the development fund."

Mack said usually about $200,000 is appropriated for the development fund. Over the past several years, nearly half of that amount has gone toward the county's veterans home contribution, leaving about $100,000 for the development fund.

Mack said the applicants for the fund can vary, with some only needing a one time request and others requiring ongoing financial support.


"I make a spreadsheet that shows all of the applications that have been made, and the board gets a book with all of the full applications," Mack said. "They usually receive those in October or November. Each board member will come in with their ideas on how the money should be spent and then we average it out."

For 2020, a total of $491,481 was requested and $85,715 was granted. The grants for 2020 were:

  • $31,200 to the Beltrami County Agriculture Association for ground care, exhibit space and overall maintenance. The requested amount was $38,000.
  • $2,000 to Bemidji City Community Development for park greening, a housing study and related labor. The request was for $65,000.
  • $2,785 toward the Bemidji Community Arena for construction of a new rink. The request was for $100,000.
  • $2,000 to the Bemidji Community Theater for theater camp and other upgrades. The request was for $40,000.
  • $2,730 to the Blackduck Area History and Art Center for newsletter production, a new file cabinet and displays. The request was for $3,075.
  • $9,500 to Blackduck's Pine Tree Park for the creation of a beach and parking lot. The request was for $15,000.
  • $5,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji Area for repairs to the organization's high tunnel and gardening tools. The request was for $16,500.
  • $28,300 to Greater Bemidji Economic Development for business retention efforts, expansion of the Minnesota Innovation Institute program, expansion of the LaunchPad entrepreneur program, development of a child care center, corporate recruitment, aviation development and workspace development. The request was for $60,000.
  • $1,400 to the Scenic Highway Pedestrian Bridge project. The request was for $95,000.
  • $2,600 to the Watermark Art Center for developing an outdoor space. The request was for $8,906

For information on the fund, visit .

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