Howard Lake Herald, September 1, 1997

Waverly Lions try to help save Funkley

By ANDREA VARGO

State notoriety for Funkley, the smallest town in Minnesota, may provide salvation on a short term basis.

Star Tribune writer Bob von Sternberg brought the little community of 13 to public attention June 30 when he wrote a story on the financial troubles of the city coffers.

According to the article, Funkley's city budget consists of $1,065 from the liquor license issued to the Funkley Bar each year.

The town's budget pays for road-grading and snowplowing, said Funkley City Clerk-Treasurer.

McLean said even she and her husband, Wayne, owned the bar for eight years. She said it had always been a heck of a bar.

Pat Borrell, Waverly, said a number of Lions remember it from hunting and fishing trips to the area.

Borrell got involved when he read the newspaper article. He called von Sternberg for McLean's phone number, he said.

His idea was for the Waverly Lions to help out with a fundraiser. Von Sternberg did a follow-up story about the Lions attempt to buy some time for the little town to figure out a permanent solution.

The Waverly Lions Club felt someone ought to do something, so they printed the Funkley story in the Lions' newsletter.

"Let's see if we can get someone who wants to retire in northern Minnesota and run a bar," said Borrell.

Someone has now leased the bar for a year, but that doesn't solve the problem. The bar is also behind in sales taxes.

If a way is not found to keep the town from being absorbed into the local township, the smallest city designation will go to another.

The fundraiser for the city of Funkley will be at Waterfront Park in Waverly starting at noon, Sat., Sept.6.

There will be softball games, refreshments, t-shirts and caps for a donation. It is a chance to show that people care about each other, said Borrell.


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