Bemidji City Council To Include Greater Bemidji Request In Final Budget
The Bemidji City Council will include a $30,000 line item for Greater Bemidji in their final budget for the upcoming year, which will be considered during the next council meeting.
Some city council members say Greater Bemidji is worth the annual investment, mainly to see economic development in the region. Council member Ron Johnson discussed how Delta Dental, a business brought in by Greater Bemidji will generate the city’s property tax revenue.
“Just the taxes it’s going to pay us is three times is what we’re paying Greater Bemidji and that’s going to be forever now,” Johnson said. “So, they almost justify their existence just with that. But they have tracking last year, and they’re working on other things, they’ve got some things, but I don’t understand why we don’t think we’re getting our money’s worth.”
During the public works session yesterday, the council concluded to consider a more formalized application process for next year’s budgeting. Greater Bemidji declined to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the city in November. They did reportedly provide an application for the funding, mirroring the county’s process which council member Nancy Erickson says she prefers.
“I think this application is fine for this year. This application is fine, but I don’t want to be asked to give them a list of things I expect them to do. I think that’s unfair. I’m not running their organization and I have no business doing so. But I want information about what their goals are and that’s what this is, including finances.” Erickson said.
The council is scheduled to consider the budget during the next council meeting next week.