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Liquor license request triggers split vote

A routine request for a temporary liquor licence triggered some debate and a split vote at Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting.

It happened after the Alexandria Area Hockey Association requested a temporary liquor license for its "Bags and Beer" event at the Runestone Community Center on Friday, March 23. The adult-only event raises funds for the hockey association and the Firefighters Relief Association, and includes a bean bag tournament, along with beer and wine vendors.

Council member Todd Jensen said he had concerns about the city's alcohol policies containing too many inconsistencies. He also questioned whether it was appropriate to use proceeds from alcohol sales to support youth programs.

He said he would vote against all liquor license applications, no matter who they were from, until the city applies clear parameters for all applicants.

Council member Dave Benson also voted against the application but it passed on a 3-2 vote.

In other license-related action, the council issued a transient merchant license to Doug Hasz to operating Doug's Kettle Korn and a charitable gambling permit to the Alexandria Hockey Association to sell pull tabs at the Runestone Community Center on March 23-24.

Following are other items from Monday's meeting that were not included in other council stories.

Comprehensive plan update

The council agreed to pay WSB and Associates in Minneapolis $50,400 to provide planning services for updating Alexandria's comprehensive plan — a long-range vision for guiding growth, development and change over the next 20 years.

The company has completed more than 40 comprehensive and small area plans across Minnesota and North Dakota in the past five years.

The company will study internal and external forces on the future of the city and provide forecasts of local and regional growth and their impact on the city's physical growth. It will examine land use, transportation, community facilities and more.

Small area corridor

The council agreed to hire Hagstrom Engineering of Alexandria at a cost of $14,900 to provide planning services for a small area corridor plan for 17th/18th Avenue and Highway 29/Nokomis Street.

The company will study the three-quarters of a mile corridor, analyzing both vehicular and pedestrian movements in the area.

The plan will include visions and goals for the corridor; maps of land use, traffic movements, gateway locations and parking recommendations; implementation and next steps; community and economic conditions; and a summary of the public process and meetings.

Metal Pick-Up Day

The city's annual Spring Metal Pick-Up Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 24. Forms will be printed in the newspaper and more information will be available at City Hall.

Jensen and economic development

City council member Todd Jensen was named vice chair of the West Central Initiative Economic Development Board.

New finance accountant

The council, acting on a recommendation from its personnel committee, hired Heather Koskiniemi as a finance accountant. This is a newly created position.

Bug-A-Boo license

The council issued a seasonal on-sale and Sunday liquor license to Bug-A-Boo Bay. It will be effective for nine months, from April 16 through Dec. 31.

Airport consultant

The council hired TKDA as its airport consultant for the next five years.

In order to receive federal funds, airports are required to review and select airport engineering firms that will represent the airport in spending the money.

TKDA has served as the consultant since 1998.

The firm will provide airport engineering and architectural services at a hourly billing rate that ranges from $34 to $268, depending on the work involved.

The city plans to do several airport projects in the next five years, including:

• Upgrading the Bellanca Building.

• Constructing or renovating hangars.

• Pavement maintenance or rehabilitation.

• Pavement reconstruction.

• Buying airfield maintenance equipment.

• Removing obstructions.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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