Temporary liquor license granted by cityWORTHINGTON — The Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. will be allowed to serve liquor at a private event at Memorial Auditorium next week, but it will have to pay the $150 licensing fee and $125 for insurance to cover the city’s liability for the 2.5-hour gathering.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Regional Economic Development Corp. will be allowed to serve liquor at a private event at Memorial Auditorium next week, but it will have to pay the $150 licensing fee and $125 for insurance to cover the city’s liability for the 2.5-hour gathering.
WREDC Manager Glenn Thuringer requested a temporary liquor license during Monday night’s Worthington City Council meeting, but asked the city consider establishing protocol for serving alcoholic beverages at the newly renovated auditorium. He said he didn’t want the WREDC to be part of any precedence-setting decision.
“We’re going forward with the process one way or the other,” Thuringer said. “We have a facility in town here with performances going on … and there isn’t any reason why we can’t have wine, cheese and crackers during intermission.”
He said the WREDC wanted to showcase the Memorial Auditorium to the participants in town the evening of April 6 for the two-day Bioscience Conference. The plan is to serve free drinks to invited guests — approximately 40 are anticipated to attend — but there was some confusion in the language for a liquor license.
The League of Minnesota Cities guidelines state a license is not needed if guests will not pay for the alcoholic beverages, while the state’s alcohol and gambling enforcement agency said a $150 license is required if alcohol is served, free or not, in a commercial setting.
In his motion to charge the WREDC $150 for the temporary liquor license and $125 for insurance for the event, Alderman Mike Woll asked the council to consider developing a plan or protocol for serving alcohol in the city-owned building in the future.
In other action, the council:
* Accepted a proposal from Evergreen Land Services Co., Eagan, to provide professional services for right-of-way acquisition on two parcels for the city’s infrastructure improvements in the U.S. 59 North commercial industrial park. The proposed fee is $10,600.
* Approved the replacement of a city-owned 1997 Chevrolet utility truck in the public works department. The low bid of $20,473 was accepted from Nelson Auto Center, Fergus Falls, for the chassis, while Crysteel was selected for the box/hoist after presenting the low bid (state contract) of $10,699.34.
* Approved a resolution for the Worthington Police Department’s acceptance of a $7,590 Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) grant from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
The grant is used to fund speed enforcement on state and federal highways connected to an interstate system.
Public Safety Director Mike Cumiskey said those routes are Minnesota 60, from I-90 to Nobles County 10, and Minnesota 25 and Diagonal Road.
* Amended a lease agreement with Nobles County for the use of a city-owned parking lot at the southeast corner of Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue.
The lease is set to expire April 1, and in the past has generated $3,000 per year for the city.
A staff proposal to lower the lease from $3,000 to $1,000, and make the county responsible for any maintenance and reconstruction was discussed at length.
Ultimately, the council approved a recommendation that would collect a $1,000 annual lease from the county, and a $3,000 annual contribution that will be placed in an escrow account held by the city.
The escrow funds would be used for resurfacing, reconstruction or removal expenses incurred by the city, should the county pull out of the lease.
Other terms of the lease agreement will remain as is, including the county is responsible for snow removal on the lot.
* Heard a presentation from Jess Luce on aging communities, boomers and creating communities for a lifetime.
Luce said there is a strong preference among the boomer generation to age in place, and communities will need to consider service and social infrastructure needed to keep people in their own homes longer.
* Approved the third reading of a proposed ordinance to change the zoning on the former Campbell’s Soup lot from general manufacturing to central business district.