Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 22, 2001

HL council studies floor plan options for city hall

By Lynda Jensen

Sample floor plans of the historic City Hall building dominated the regular Howard Lake City Council meeting Tuesday.

Council members spent more than an hour pouring over optional floor plans of the structure by two architects from Hay Dobbs.

The on- and off-sale liquor store will most likely take up the entire lower level of the building.

Discussion ensued about locating the off-sale liquor on the west end, which is the preference of Ruth Voight and the on-sale clientele.

"(Voight) wants the privacy of entry into the off-sale area, without going through the on-sale area," said Councilor Shelly Reddemann.

Mayor Gerry Smith questioned the parking impact, from his experience as a retailer.

The off-sale area will be increased by one third of its size to meet expected growth.

The preferred floor plan included the police department, and city administrative offices laid out on the second floor.

It did not include room for city council chambers or the Lions' meeting hall.

This plan allows the city to apply for funds to restore a historical structure from the state.

Smith mentioned the idea that perhaps sometime, years down the road, the liquor store may be removed altogether from the city hall building. The city should consider things such as "pop-out" walls to use the lower floor for other purposes if this ever happens, he said.

During Voight's liquor store report, she asked council members to consider making a contribution to the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association.

The association is lobbying the state against opening the door for grocery retailers to sell wine products alongside regular grocery items.

Eventually, if this passes the legislature, the grocery retail lobbying group will also try to press strong liquor in grocery stores as well, Voight felt.

"It would kill us," Voight said. "It really would."

Following some discussion, members decided to contribute $500 to the association.

School site proposal

Another lengthy subject was the City of Howard Lake's proposal to the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted school district's new potential high school.

It will be presented by city staff to the sub-committee of the HLWW school district and Superintendent Riley Hoheisel today (Monday).

The site near Howard Lake being considered is the Edna Frank property, located in the southwest corner of the city. It contains 101 acres, Borglund said.

The City of Howard Lake will extend services to that site with no sewer and water access fees, and no usage fees for one year, Borglund said. There will also be no assessments, he said.

The city can provide low cost Internet access as well through XtraTyme Technologies, Borglund said.

XtraTyme is giving free Internet service to the city offices in exchange for use of its water tower.

Two years ago, the council discussed contributing about $100,000 to the school site project. This would take shape in the blacktop from 67th to 70th along Jellison, which leads to the school. The cost was estimated at $107,000.

"It's in close proximity to other schools," Borglund added. "It is the most central of the final two sites."

"Our goal was to provide an affordable program to the school without hurting our tax base," Smith said.

Resident Pat Van Oss questioned scholarships that Winsted businesses were talking about donating, to the tune of about $2,000 per business each year.

"Howard Lake already does that," Van Oss said, when it comes to donations and other activities of local organizations.

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