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Liquor license requirements changed in Crosslake

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After hearing a request from Mike Stone, owner of Crosswoods Golf Course, the Crosslake City Council decided Monday night, April 22, that the city will no longer require a business to stay open 48 weeks a year in order to obtain a liquor license.

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The council believed that portion of the ordinance was probably put in place to prevent summer-only liquor establishments from opening. But the council decided the rule was a reversal of its goals.

“We want people to be able to close (in the winter) if they’re not making any money,” council member John Moengen said. “I don’t think we want to get into a situation where we want to force people to open if they physically can’t do it.”

Council member Mark Wessels pointed out that if a business is able to close its doors for a period of time in the winter, it could prevent that business from closing its doors permanently.

The requirement that a business stay open 48 weeks of the year applied only to businesses with a liquor license.

Council member Steve Roe expressed some concern for the community in the winter, and whether it would continue to attract visitors and snowmobile riders if area establishments were closed in the winter. However, he agreed the 48-week limitation should be eliminated.

Stone asked council members to remove the condition that establishments remain open 48 weeks a year in order to obtain a liquor license because of the fact that the golf business is a seasonal one. Nearly every other lakes area golf course has a liquor license, he said. His establishment met every requirement except for the requirement that it remain open 48 weeks of the year.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Heard that the Corps of Engineers Campground will hold a spring campground cleanup from April 30 to May 4. The campground requested residents bring their rakes and leaf blowers and join staff in the cleanup. Dates may be changed dependent on the weather and snow conditions.

• Made some changes to the format of city council meetings at the recommendation of administrative consultant Dan Vogt. Vogt said it’s his hope the changes will expedite meetings. They include removing one of the two public forums, changing how commission reports are handled and adding the pledge of allegiance.

• Learned from Vogt that the city received 10 applications for the new finance director/treasurer position. Two candidates will be interviewed Tuesday, April 30, beginning at 10 a.m.

• Encountered hang-ups on a planning and zoning ordinance allowing secondary living quarters above garages. The council passed the ordinance, then received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) stating the ordinance was noncompliant with statewide shoreland standards. The ordinance was modified and is being sent back to the DNR.

• Agreed to move forward with plans to install sidewalks from Pine Peaks hotel into Crosslake Town Square, and to install a bituminous trail from County Road 3 along Swann Drive to the back parking lot of Larson Group Real Estate.

• Heard from Melissa Barrick, of the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District, that residents on areas of the Whitefish Chain are eligible for grants for forest stewardship plans and other environmental projects.

• Decided to receive specifications from an outside source for the city’s tennis courts at the community center, rather than using bidders’ specifications.

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