By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Delano City Council approved a lease amendment with the Juke Box, located in the city’s Rivertown commercial building, at its meeting Tuesday night.
The amendment moved the rent from $795 per month to $1,200 per month for November and December 2012, then to $2,100 per month for January and February 2013, then finally to $3,180 from March 2013 through April 2014.
Built in 2006, the city owns the Rivertown commercial building and has three tenants in it the Juke Box, Stein’s Barber Shop, and Alex Roeser American Family Insurance Agency.
The Juke Box had been on temporary lease provision since an amendment was approved in October 2009. The establishment was paying $795 per month, plus a percentage more if sales exceeded a certain amount.
Delano City Administrator Phil Kern said the establishment is current with utility bills, and has been for the last two years. He also noted revenues from this project do not impact the city’s general fund, and do not affect the property tax levy directly. He said it is managed as a special fund of the city.
Council Member Dan Vick said he would sure like the Juke Box to be successful, but said it shouldn’t be at the expense of taxpayers.
In a letter to the city, Juke Box owners Bob and Sandi Holt said they run a tight operation and there is no room left to cut costs in order to generate more cash to pay an increased rent. They said their accountant advised them a price increase is the only option they have in order to meet in the increased rent obligation. The Holts said they have resisted a price increase for three years.
“We are hopeful that the goodwill we have built through providing quality food and stellar service for 23 years will be enough to hold out clientele,” the Holts said. “We appreciate and are grateful for you working with us during these trying times. We are sure that we both have the best interests in building a stronger downtown Delano.”
The Holts did present an alternate rent structure, however the council approved what had been previously discussed.