Crow Wing County Board approves COVID-19 proposal to provide liquor license relief


The Crow Wing County Board approved a liquor license relief proposal for liquor establishments within Crow Wing County townships or unincorporated areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board voted unanimously for this at an emergency board meeting Friday, April 3. The goal is to provide some relief for businesses hurt financially due to the governor’s executive order requiring all bars and restaurants to close to customers and prohibiting on site consumption of food and alcohol. The closure was effective at 5 pm. March 17 and was extended until at least 5 p.m. May 1 .

The relief will provide a four-month reduction in the renewal license fee to recognize potential loss of revenue for the remaining current license period (through June 30). Renewal fees would be reduced to $1,400 for on-sale/Sunday and $1,630 for combination licenses. The financial impact to the county would be a loss of revenue of about $17,400.

Crow Wing County has 12 establishments that currently hold an on-sale/Sunday liquor license and an additional 11 establishments that currently hold a combination on-sale/Sunday/off-sale liquor license. The annual fee for an on-sale/Sunday license is $2,100 and the fee for a combination license is $2,450. The license year runs from July 1 -June 30 .

The ordinance regulating liquor licenses in Crow Wing County also requires that property taxes must remain current for the license to remain in good standing.


“We realized the hardships some of these businesses are under. Some will have been closed for six weeks before they can re-open. And that date could be extended so the uncertainty of the situation can be overwhelming. Many start the liquor license application in April so we knew we needed to start this process now in order to support them,” Administrative Services Director Deborah Erickson said in a news release.

The board also approved suspending the provision of the ordinance requiring taxes to be kept current (paid first half by May 15) and relying on statutory language requiring taxes to not be delinquent, which would require full-year taxes to be paid by Dec. 31 to keep the liquor license in good standing.

Crow Wing County licenses establishments for the sale of liquor that are within the townships or unincorporated areas of Crow Wing County. Establishments that are within the boundaries of cities are licensed by the individual cities.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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