Council discusses giving liquor license to ag societyPublished 9:47am Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Should the nonprofit Freeborn County Agricultural Society be given a permanent liquor license to sell alcohol at the Fairlane Building of the Freeborn County Fairgrounds?
That’s the question the Albert Lea City Council on Monday voted to table until its next meeting in two weeks.
According to a memo from City Attorney Lee Bjorndal, nonprofit organizations in the past have been able to get temporary on-sale licenses in connection within a social event they have sponsored. That license is good for only four days.
Bjorndal said the city may issue an on-sale license to what is classified as an “exclusive liquor store,” and he questioned whether the Fairlane Building would fall under this classification.
He said the Agricultural Society could work with a caterer to serve liquor at functions, but in his opinion the society is ineligible to obtain a more permanent license.
City staff and representatives from the society plan to meet and call the state’s liquor control division to find out whether it’s plausible.
Insurance agent Troy Thompson said the group contacted the liquor control division on their own and explained what kind of events are put on at the fairgrounds. He talked about banquets, the Big Island Barbecue, Relay for Life and other rallies. Not to mention the weddings, Christmas parties and other events.
“It is our interpretation by speaking to them that this is acceptable,” Thompson said.
The issue will be back on the agenda at the second meeting in March.
In other action the council:
• Approved the conditional use permit for an expansion at the Freeborn County Historical Museum.
The expansion will add about 10,000 square feet on two floors and is planned or the north end of the existing building, 1031 Bridge Ave.
“I’m very excited to see this project moving forward,” said 4th Ward Councilor Reid Olson. “It’s very good for the community.”
Members of the Freeborn County Historical Society have been fundraising for this project during the last few years.
• Awarded the contract for the rental of about 56 acres of cropland adjacent to the airport.
Dan Kluender of Walters was awarded the contract and will pay $216 an acre from 2012 through 2016.
• Combined two lots at 517 Adams Ave.
• Approved a series of miscellaneous assessments for properties that failed the sanitary sewer inspection program and who have asked the city to complete the repairs and assess the property.
• Approved the first reading of an updated zoning and land use map for the city.