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Rushford City Council: Liquor license fees questioned


Fri, Nov 29th, 2002
Posted in Features

Liquor licensing was a hot topic in the citizens’ concerns and comments portion of the Rushford City Council meeting November 25th. Business owners Judy Christian of Stumpy’s and Jim Kitchens of Nordic Lanes and American Legion and VFW representatives Dennis Peterson and Lupy Myhro appeared before the council to protest the cost of liquor licenses in Rushford.

Spokesman Dennis Peterson informed the council that the contingent felt the city was competing with them for business while at the same time charging them an extremely high fee for liquor licenses. Since 1984 the city has been charging the maximum fee permissible—$1,400 with an additional $200 for Sunday liquor. Area cities charge much less according to Peterson, who cited fees from Lanesboro ( $250) and Preston ($300). Peterson pointed out the need for the city of Rushford to support existing businesses saying, "We’ve gotten a lot of lip service, but nothing has ever changed. For you to get us out of your hair, when do you want us back?"

The council’s response was to direct staff to research other cities’ fees and put the matter on the December 2nd agenda. “This is not intended to be a fund raiser for the city," Mayor T.S. Roberton said. Roberton encouraged the businesses and clubs to complete their liquor license paperwork, but not pay the fees yet.

Other citizens’ concerns included the weeds at Pine Meadow Lane (which were mowed by landowner), parking in the yellow zone at Rushford-Peterson School on days when school is not in session, and a recent cable TV outage caused by problems at the Mediacom tower. The council reiterated their desire to listen to and respond to citizens’ concerns.

Snow emergency ordinance

After nearly a year of consideration, the snow and ice removal emergency ordinance is ready for a public hearing December 9. The council stressed that the city is not "looking to write tickets" or tow cars that are merely inconveniences, but that the ordinance is meant to mitigate emergency situations and eliminate hazards. "I’m willing to go along with it (the ordinance) if common sense is used," commented councilman Ron Mierau as he urged the council not to get carried away with things like alternate side parking. The proposed ordinance will give police officers discretion in declaring a snow emergency and in the removal of vehicles.

Airport progress

The Airport Commission reported continuing progress on the airport building. With the well completed, sewer installation on schedule, and signs installed on Highway 30, the only hang up in the project was the inability of Bluff County Backhoe to finish their part of the project due to an employee’s injury. The council, concerned about weather and time constraints, opted to contract with Woxland Plumbing to complete the job.

Future projects at the airport include the possibility of private investors financing T-hangars at the site and a runway analysis by an engineering firm to determine blacktopping repair needs.

Budget

The council ended the meeting by going over the progress on the 2003 city budget, once again emphasizing their desire to not budget to spend the entire levy. After perusing the budget, the council closed the meeting in order to discuss a union contract proposal.

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