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Paynesville Press - March 31, 2004

Council rejects 3.2 liquor license

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, March 24.

*The council rejected granting a 3.2 beer license to Queen Bee's Bar and Grill on a 3-2 vote.

Doris and Tom Wendlandt, owners of Queen Bee's, applied for a 3.2 license and a consumption and display (set-ups) license. This would allow their business to sell some alcohol on Sundays.

Although 3.2 percent beer is already sold on Sundays in Paynesville, at the Koronis Lanes, council member Dave Peschong expressed concern over allowing a facility that has a regular liquor license to have a 3.2 license as well because enforcement would be difficult. Police chief Kent Kortlever agreed that enforcement - determining that only 3.2 beer was sold on Sundays -would be difficult.

Kortlever also told the council he was concerned that DUIs and domestics would increase if more establishments are allowed to sell liquor on Sundays.

Council members Harlan Beek, Peschong, and Dennis Zimmerman voted against issuing a 3.2 beer license to Queen Bee's while council member Jean Soine and mayor Jeff Thompson voted for it.

According to state law, a set-up license can only be issued to establishments with a 3.2 beer license, so voting on it was unnecessary after the 3.2 beer license failed.

*The council approved a development agreement for Lake Land Villas, a housing development on Co. Rd. 34 that will include 16 townhomes and 20 adult condominiums.

The council also approved a conditional use permit for the development, a final plat for the townhome portion of the project, and rezoning the property from highway commercial to multiple residential.

A final plat for the condominiums cannot be drawn until after construction, since the individual condominiums will be owned separately. (See related story)

*The council approved vacating utility and drainage easements in the Michaelis Olmscheid Addition, which are unnecessary due to the design of Lake Land Villas.

*The council approved a land lease agreement with the Paynesville Area School District to use school property for the proposed aquatic park.

*The council approved a resolution giving financial support to the Koronis Regional Trail. According to trail consultant Jeff Bertram, building a trail from the city to the city beach is estimated to cost $326,500. A federal grant would pay up to 80 percent of the building costs (not including engineering and some administrative costs) leaving $66,000 plus extra expenses to come from local sources.

The city will likely share trail costs with Paynesville Township, although the amounts have not been determined yet.

*The council also approved forming a joint ad-hoc trail committee with Paynesville Township that would oversee trail construction. City representatives on the proposed committee are Beek, city administrator Steve Helget, and public works director Ron Mergen.

*The council approved a bid from J.L. Gabrielson Excavating for the demolition and removal of the grain elevator on Railroad Street for $21,100. The elevator needs to be removed to make room for a stormwater retention pond, a part of this summer's street improvement project.

*The council reset animal license and kennel fees at the same rate as last year. The license fee is $5 for a spayed or neutered animal and $10 for a non-spayed or non-neutered animal if paid before June 30. After July 1, the fee is $10 for a spayed or neutered animal and $20 for a non-spayed or non-neutered animal.

A kennel fee of $20 is charged whenever someone has three or more animals over 90 days old.

*The council approved a $2,500 loan to Dawn Marklowitz. This loan is forgivable over five years.

*The council approved refinancing an EDAP loan for Spanier Welding. Greg Spanier, owner of Spanier Welding, had a balloon payment of $31,000 due in early April, which will be refinanced at 4.25 percent over five years.

*The council approved an eight-year TIF district for Midwest Cylinder. Owner Dennis Wilson plans to add an 18,000-sq. ft. addition to his business in the Industrial Park, adding five jobs.

*The council also approved a TIF agreement with Nelson Plastics for their facility addition last year. *The council heard an annual report about the Paynesville Area Health Care System from CEO Steve Moburg.

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