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The existing Vergas Municipal Liquor Store, city hall and The Attic Shoppe building is in need of outside repairs. Inside work was done to the building a couple years ago. Photo courtesy of BHH Partners

Vergas Liquor Store looking at a facelift

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Built decades ago, the Vergas Municipal Liquor Store building, which also houses city hall and The Attic Shoppe, is in need of a facelift.

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A few years ago, the inside of the building was remodeled, and now the city is looking to refurbish the outside.

During last week's regular Vergas City Council meeting, a public hearing was set for Tuesday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Vergas Event Center to take input on the off-sale liquor store building.

BHH Partners of Perham is working on the project, and council has directed project manager Matt Malone to go ahead and get bids on the project.

"Basically what we're going to be doing is updating a lot of the exterior, or repairing a lot of the exterior brick work," Malone said.

He said the joints and brick of the building have eroded over the last 80 years of the building's life and has been neglected in that time.

They will also correct drainage issues around the building. Some old windows will also be replaced.

The building once housed the Vergas Creamery.

The footprint of the building won't change at all, and the building will primarily be brick. Other portions will be EIFS, or exterior insulation finish system, which Malone said he hates to call stucco because of the negative connotations that follow stucco, but it is similar to stucco. He said it's the product that was used on the new David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes.

Besides brick, the exterior also has agriculture paneling on it, or pole barn steel, which has been on for about 40 years.

"I'm not sure it was flashed correctly when it was put on," he said, "so who knows what we're going to find when we peel that off."

"On the inside of the building, we will also be redoing the walls and ceiling of our back storage area," City Clerk Julie Lammers said.

Malone said about three-fourths of the $330,000 estimated cost is going to repairs on the building and replacing items that need replacing.

By working on the building in stages, the price tag has been a bit easier to swallow, though it's still more expensive than people want to pay.

"From what I've heard, people are very supportive of doing something," Lammers said, "but they aren't really appreciative of the price tag."

The $330,000 price tag is a lot cheaper than building new, however, an option that was estimated at $1.2 million.

The project is being put out for bids the end of July, and a firm cost for the project will be known after that.

"Essentially, we're through the design phase of it and we're at the public input of the design," Malone said.

From there, it will be issued for bids, and then construction will begin "after Looney Days," he said with a laugh. Construction will be sometime late summer or early fall.

The public input meeting will be held Tuesday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m., in the Vergas Event Center.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.

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