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Public invited to talk about liquor store

The Osakis city council met on Monday, Aug. 6, for its monthly meeting, and it was smooth sailing for much of the night.

There will be a public forum regarding the Osakis Municipal Liquor Store on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Ed Pollard Community Center, located at 20 Nokomis St. W in Osakis. The forum is to present information regarding the liquor store and receive input from the public, as the city council is considering options for the future of the municipal liquor operation.

Those who would like to provide input but are unable to attend can submit comments to the Osakis City Clerk, P.O. Box 486.

"Please come and support the liquor store," manager Julie Didier said at the city council meeting. "The liquor store's been around a long time, and we don't want to lose it."

The liquor store fund decreased by $43,000 in 2017. There was a transfer from the liquor store into the general fund of $50,500, for a net profit of $6,815.

The cash balance left in the liquor store fund was $75,892 and an audit described the position of that fund as tenuous if the city continues to transfer money from the municipal store.

Council member Jerry Olson again pushed for the installment of volleyball courts at the liquor store.

"What can I do to get this volleyball thing going?" he asked. "I think you should put it on me."

However, councilmember Jim Snyder strongly recommended he wait until they can see the effects of building a new kitchen and office in the liquor store.

"We're trying to be cautious so it's done right," Snyder said.

Also at the Aug. 6 meeting, the city council approved the hiring of part-time police officer Brian Thorstad. Thorstad has previously been licensed by Sauk Centre.

Additionally, the fire department is currently running at 17 active firefighters. The department is looking to add three new members as to stay around 20.

The council quickly denied a motion to raise the bridge on First Ave. W, which goes under the trail to King St., by 14 inches. The increased cost was estimated at $82,000, or $5,857 per inch, for a final clearance of 11 feet 5 inches.

Finally, the Law Enforcement Labor Services, the union representing the city's police officers, notified the city that they want to begin negotiations, although no date was specified.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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