Land sales allows entry for restaurant
By ANDREA VARGO
The Howard Lake City Council agreed to sell a small strip of land beside Red's Family Restaurant to owner Bill Strandquist, Tuesday.
Strandquist said he needs to construct an enclosed entry on the east side of his building onto the sidewalk, to keep drafts off his customers.
The entry would extend four feet onto the seven foot sidewalk that will be constructed as part of the parking lot project.
Mayor Mark Custer told Strandquist that, even if it were legal, he didn't like the thought of setting a precedent of allowing private structures on public property.
City Engineer Brad DeWolf said that if the entry were to be built, two spaces could be reserved for sub-compact cars and bumper placed so the cars don't hang over the curb.
Business owner Vern Cleve said he has a problem with placing the entry on the sidewalk.
"I'm not against Bill, but I don't think we should change the plan from any engineering standpoint (for the parking lot and sidewalk). You are putting in sub-compact parking and bumpers," he said.
"There would only be one or two spaces restricted to smaller cars," said Pat Van Oss, owner of Old Town Gallery.
Gerry Smith of Gerry's Super Valu also spoke in support of Strandquist's project.
He said, "If Bill doesn't have a decent entry on that side, he is going to be in deep trouble."
Cleve said he doesn't like the board making changes to every project.
Said Custer, "Part of what this board is here for is to listen to both sides of a problem and come to a decision.
"This council is trying to reach a happy medium. We want all our business to succeed and grow."
The council came up with a solution to the problem. They will sell the sidewalk area to Strandquist, and he can build his entry.
The agreement states that Strandquist will pay the city $1 for the property, reimburse the city for the cost of building the new sidewalk, and pay the legal fees for the sale.
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