Frequently Asked Questions...

If you have others questions and are not finding the answer, please ask the the City Clerk's office at 218.759.3570 or email


 Are City Council meetings open to the public?

City Council meetings are open to the public and held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m.  The Council has a work session on the 2nd Monday at 5:30 p.m. and, if needed, on the 4th Monday. Closed door sessions are not open to the public due to confidential information.

 What are the animal regulations?

All dogs and cats 4 months of age are required to be licensed with the City.  See Chapter 6, Article II  of the Bemidji City Code which outlines the regulations for animal control within City limits.  For a particular question or concern, contact the Community Service Officer at 218.333.9111.

 What & Why of Franchise Fees?

Cities are allowed to charge utility companies, which include cable, gas and electric, a franchise fee. The legal ability to do so is defined in MN Statute 216.36. 
The franchise fee represents “rent” that a utility company pays to use the City’s public right-of-ways for placing its lines, pipes and poles. If utility companies were unable to place their infrastructure in the City rights-of-way, it would be more difficult and expensive to provide these types of services to City residents.
Utility companies collect this fee from customers and in turn pay the City the fees collected. The City uses these fees as a revenue stream to fund on-going City operations including police, fire, streets, parks and general government activities.  
If franchise fees were not part of the City budget, property taxes would be substantially higher and/or service levels reduced. One advantage of franchise fees is they are paid by all properties, including those exempt from paying property taxes.  Considering over 50% of City property value does not pay property taxes, utilizing franchise fees as a revenue source is an effective way to spread the cost of government to a larger base.

 Where do I pay a Parking Ticket?

Parking tickets can be paid at City Hall by either using the drop box provided by the front door or coming inside.  In addition, parking tickets can be paid in person at the Bemidji Police Department. 

 How do I appeal a Parking Ticket?

Complete a Parking Ticket Appeal's form and return it to the City Clerk's Office. The matter will be examined by City staff, who will contact you in generally two-six weeks.

 Who is responsible for removing snow from my sidewalk?

It is the responsibility of the property owner or resident of the property to keep snow and ice removed from sidewalks abutting property.  Ref. City Code Chapter 7, Section 7.13, Subd.1.  To report a sidewalk that is not cleared, please e-mail the City Clerk's office

 How do I appeal an Administrative Fine (citation)?

To request a hearing regarding an administrative fine, please complete an administrative fine appeal's form and return it to the City Clerk's Office. City Staff will contact you in generally two-six weeks. Appeal forms are located online or by calling (218) 759-3570. 

 Where do I get a passport, marriage license, death or birth certificate?

License Center
County Administration Building
701 Minnesota Ave NW Suite 100
Bemidji, MN 56601