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HL residents have a new space to rent for events
March 21, 2016

Tara Mathews
Correspondent

HOWARD LAKE, MN – The former Howard Lake Municipal Liquor Store on-sale portion of the historic city hall building is available for rent for events and celebrations, following the Howard Lake City Council’s approval of a facility use policy at its meeting Tuesday.

The council discussed options regarding the space at a prior workshop meeting, according to City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller.

“The council recognized the issues with the public image of a closed business and access issues in terms of locked doors and inconsistent signage,” he noted.

The procedure to rent the space will be the same as it is for the community room in Howard Lake. Citizens will reserve and pay for the space, and check out keys at city hall.

The facility use rules and guidelines are the same as the community room, including:

• users are responsible for set up and tear down of chairs, tables, and equipment;

• decorations may be hung using only “sticky tack” reusable adhesive, and no tape, nails, tacks, or staples may be used;

• all decorations must be removed by the user;

• tables, floors, and other surfaces must be cleaned, and trash properly bagged by user;

• windows and doors must be closed and locked following rental;

• all lights must be turned off after events.

The rent for Howard Lake’s historic city hall space and community room is $50 for six hours, and $100 for more than six hours.

General hours of rental availability are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., unless extended hours are approved by the city.

No bands, live music, or deejays are allowed unless permitted by the city.

Forsman Farms project

The council approved several resolutions regarding the proposed Forsman Farms project, including vacation of Industrial Parkway, the final plat of the Howard Lake Industrial Park third addition, and a conditional use permit (CUP) and site plan for the Forsman Farms production plant.

“The existing preliminary plat was created under the original design concept of the industrial park, which consisted of a street connecting several smaller parcels,” Haggenmiller stated.

Forsman Farms purchased the entire acreage, so a public street is no longer needed there.

“The proposed preliminary plat will vacate the existing Industrial Park Way and replace it with a smaller extension of Commerce Boulevard,” he added.

The final plat for the industrial park needed to be adjusted to account for several smaller parcels being combined into one, as well.

The CUP approval by council was needed due to the proposed production facility dimensions; the current regulation for building height in the industrial park is 50 feet.

The proposed facility will be 60 feet at its highest point, but more than meets setback requirements, according to Haggenmiller.

“Next month’s meeting, the council will likely have a tax increment financing agreement, purchase agreement, industrial user agreement, and development agreement to consider for the Forsman Farms project,” he said.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved a wage increase for part-time Howard Lake police officers, following a review of wages in neighboring communities. The part-time wage increased from $15.50 to $17.21 per hour.

• set the city’s spring clean-up day for Saturday, May 7.

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