Herald JournalHoward Lake-Waverly Herald, Oct. 14, 2002

Concept plans for remodeling Waverly liquor store roll forward

By Lynda Jensen

Conceptual plans to remodel the municipal liquor store moved forward Tuesday during the Waverly City Council meeting.

The project will likely expand the off-sale portion of the store this spring.

Currently, the city is waiting for additional information about a supper club, planned to be located in front of the Summerfields residential development.

Hirsch Investments plans to do the supper club, although the sale hasn't closed yet, commented Clerk Deb Ryks. Lakes Area Realty is handling the deal.

"If the (supper club) establishment has full lounge area, the city may not want to remodel the municipal liquor store with an on-sale area," according to Mayor Charlie Bush's report in the October planning and zoning report.

During the meeting, the city council heard a report about bonds to fund the venture from Shelly Eldridge of Ehlers & Associates.

The council wants to use a revenue bond for funding of the expansion, using the store's revenue to pay for the venture.

This alone would be considered a risky venture, Eldridge reported. The city would also be required to keep 200 percent coverage option for this, meaning that the liquor store would have to generate $130,000 in profit every year for this idea to work, she said.

A better idea would be a lease purchase arrangement with the EDA holding the title, and the city pledging to make up for any shortfalls of liquor store revenue, should something go wrong, Eldridge said.

This would draw more bids at better rates, she said. It is also a common vehicle used by other cities to fund projects such as city hall improvements and fire departments, she said.

A conceptual design was drawn up (see boxed area) that will extend the liquor store building 25 to 30 feet with the addition of a horseshoes-style bar, which would be located toward the pool table area.

Some council members expressed a desire to keep the on sale open during construction even if phasing of the project was necessary, as noted during the liquor committee meeting June 4.

The personnel meeting also discussed liquor store staffing with Manager Steve Gagnon, who was present at the personnel meeting Sept. 3.

During the September meeting, council members informed Gagnon that they would like two staff members working Friday and Saturday nights at the store.

Gagnon asked to hire an additional full-time bartender. The committee agreed to hire a half time one for now, due to the remodeling project.

Gagnon also reported at the personnel meeting that the Waverly Lions have not provided staff to man the pull tab booth, as previously discussed. This spreads the liquor store staff thin, since they do not have the time to sell and pay out pull tabs, Gagnon said.

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