Northern Township

Northern Township is planning and seeking funding for a critical infrastructure project to install a sanitary sewer system along County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 20 in the Lake Bemidji area. This project aims to address long-standing regional planning goals and environmental concerns related to aging septic systems around the iconic Lake Bemidji.

The proposed sewer line, approximately 5 miles in length, will run through Lake Bemidji State Park and extend to the Township’s border along the east side of the lake. Timely execution of this project is crucial, as it aligns with Beltrami County’s concurrent reconstruction plans for CSAH 20, including storm sewers, curbs, gutters, and a multi-use trail. By coordinating these efforts, the Township can potentially save $1.5 million in project costs.

Lake Bemidji, the first city on the Mississippi River, is the centerpiece of the thriving Bemidji region, home to over 15,000 residents and a hub for economic development in northern Minnesota. This valuable natural resource attracts hundreds of thousands of recreational visitors each year. However, the lake’s water quality is at risk due to aging individual septic systems in the area.

The proposed sewer project will provide a long-term solution by connecting several key facilities, including Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge resort, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Regional Headquarters, and Lake Bemidji State Park, to a reliable sanitary sewer system. This initiative will help protect Lake Bemidji from future degradation and ensure its preservation for generations to come.

By securing funding for this project, Northern Township can address vital infrastructure needs, safeguard a precious MN state natural resource, and support the region’s economic and recreational interests, all while realizing significant cost savings through strategic coordination with county construction plans.