By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake City Council approved the 2015 budget for the off-sale portion of the municipal liquor store at its meeting Tuesday.
After the final bond payment is made in 2015, there is a projected profit of $34,496.
Revenues and expenditures for the on-sale portion were removed for 2015, since the on-sale portion is expected to close Jan. 1, 2015.
Pull-tab, jukebox, food, and vending sale revenues are among the items removed from the budget.
“It is also anticipated that tobacco sales will likely decrease,” City Administrator Jennifer Nash stated.
The off-sale will likely incur additional credit card fees, as most purchases are made with credit or debit cards, she added.
“With the focus now being on retail operations, increased efficiencies and sales of liquor, beer, and especially wine are anticipated,” Nash commented.
There will also be adjustments to staff, decreasing cost of labor.
“This will be the first year of a major change in operations, so there will likely be adjustments required as we move through the year,” Nash noted.
“Based on the operations analysis completed earlier this year, as well as further review of budgets, contracts and profit achieved from similar operations, staff believes this to be a reasonable projection,” she added.
Other liquor store changes
City council also approved a new job description for liquor store sales clerk, layoff of all current part-time liquor store staff, and hiring of new liquor store clerks at its meeting.
“All current part-time liquor store staff received layoff notices Dec. 5, and were asked to submit applications for the new job of liquor store sales clerk by Dec. 12 if they were interested,” Nash stated.
The new job description omits language about bartending, restocking on-sale items, training new bartenders, serving customers, and required bartending experience.
The Howard Lake Liquor Store committee met to review applications for the new off-sale clerks Tuesday, as well.
Based on recommendations of the liquor store committee, council approved hiring Tammy Prestige, James Veaderko, Stacey Heaver, and Toriv Schug as off-sale clerks.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a new job description for its utility billing/deputy clerk position.
The new description removes responsibilities related to planning and zoning commission meetings, land use application reviews, and ability to read and interpret land surveys, blue prints, or construction plans.
It also adds clerical and administrative responsibilities, and includes a strong computer skills requirement.
• approved continuing its current council meeting schedule for 2015, which includes the first and third Tuesdays each month. The first regular meeting will take place Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.