By ANDREA VARGO
Liquor license fees for on-sale liquor will increase 600 percent over the next few years in Howard Lake, the city council decided Tuesday.
City Administrator Doug Borglund presented the council with a list of fees charged by area cities.
They ranged from $2,500 in Winsted to $8,000 in Watertown.
The changes affect the Garden Spot Inn, American Legion Post 145, Lake Bowl, Tom Thumb, and The Greens.
The council proposed to raise the on-sale fee from $500 to $1,500 for 1998.
Only one business person appeared at the public hearing, held before the regular meeting, to address the council on the proposed changes.
The Garden Spot was represented by Janice Judd, who reminded the council that the amount of increase was never stated when the Judds purchased the business before the first of the year.
They paid $750 for licenses then, because the old license did not transfer with the sale of the business, said Judd.
Now, she said, there would be an increase of $1,000 for the on-sale license, $150 for non-intoxicating malt liquor, and the $200 fee for Sunday liquor would remain the same.
The same licenses would cost the business $1,850 instead of $750 for 1998.
"That was not in our budget for 1998," said Judd. "If we had known about the amount of increase, we would have planned things differently," she said.
After some discussion by the council, it voted to delay the increase until 1999 and to increase the on-sale fee by $500 each year thereafter, until it reaches $3,000 in 2002.
City Engineer Brad DeWolf reviewed the parking lot plans with the council and said the sanitary sewer line needs to be replaced in that area by the railroad tracks on the north side of Hwy. 12.
He said the existing line runs 18 feet deep and 10 feet from the railroad tracks.
It would be abandoned, and a new line installed closer to the buildings under the park and ride lot.
Bids will be let, and the bid opening is planned for Tuesday, May 12.
Typically, he said, construction would start six to eight weeks later.
Bids will also be let for the new parking lot on the south side of Hwy. 12, as well as for the overlay on block 18. It was suggested by Tom Goepfert, maintenance supervisor, that the trees be removed, as they are breaking up the concrete curbs and are frequently being vandalized.
A request for final payment on the well number five project was made by Rieke, Carroll, Muller, Associates, Inc. (RCM).
Included was a charge for $27,500 for a control panel and motor starter. RCM offered to deduct $2,600 from the bill, if the contractor, Instrument Control Systems, can keep the new panel for salvage, said Custer.
As he waved the letter, Custer said, "We ought to send this paper back to them on fire."
"The city has a well that doesn't work, and they want to give us $2,600 for a new, $27,000 item. Maybe we should ask to see their used car (dealership) license," he said.
The city will get a report from the city's engineering firm, Bolton and Menk, but until then, the council will not pay anything on the bill.