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Liquor store fund to cover bandshell, Pavilion costs

The street and park commission held discussions on allies and Ox Carts prior to the Detroit Lakes City Council meeting earlier this week.

The City Council decided the city's liquor store fund would cover the remaining costs of the Pavilion renovation project and reconstruction of the bandshell.

At the street and park commission meeting, members discussed what to do with money earned from the sale of land at Ox Cart Trail.

The park board cleaned up the area and the city sold it for $18,500. The park board would like to use the money toward the construction costs of the new bandshell.

"We felt since it had been improved by the city park (board), we should be the benefactors of that," Street Commissioner Roy Estes said.

The park board also requested the remaining funds needed for the bandshell and Pavilion be taken from the liquor store fund.

That was an idea both supported and questioned by those at the street and park board meeting.

"The thinking is that the liquor store fund isn't going to run dry. That's wrong," Alderman Leonard Heltemes said.

"The liquor store fund is for fun projects that should be done," Mayor Larry Buboltz said, ones that make the community a better place.

It was also suggested the money from Ox Cart Trail be used for upgrading the bathrooms in the rec center, a high priority for the park board.

The remaining funds needed to cover the Pavilion and bandshell costs add up to about $110,000. The city will get $42,000 for the bandshell from a matching grant through the state and still needs to find $61,500 for the remainder, which includes the demolition of the old bandshell.

The Pavilion fund is $47,000 short at this point.

Alderman Bruce Imholte, with the agreement of Alderman Walt Tollefson, suggested the $110,000 be taken from the liquor store fund.

There is over $1 million in the liquor store fund, City Financer Lou Guzek said.

With nothing being decided, the discussion moved on to the finance committee the next day.

Alderman Ron Zeman said he felt the money should be taken from the "piggy bank" of the park board. But Buboltz said the park fund doesn't even have enough in it to cover the $110,000. Besides, he said, the liquor store fund shouldn't get too large.

The council voted Tuesday evening to use up to $110,000 from the liquor store fund to pay the remaining costs of the Pavilion and bandshell reconstructions.

Also discussed at the street and park meeting was a proposal that the alley between JCPenney and the old County Market building become a one way, because of the difficulty navigating through the narrow opening.

"It gets sticky with people meeting each other," Heltemes said, "especially if there's a truck back there."

The suggested one way would run south to north, or Frazee Street to Holmes Street, to align with JCPenney's angled parking.

Heltemes added that traffic and trying to get out onto Frazee Street is only going to get worse with Frazee Street becoming a through street after the Highway 10 alignment.

The commission and council agreed to send letters to businesses in that area and hold a public meeting at the Sept. 13 meeting, to hear feedback on the issue.

Because of the primary election, the regular council meeting has been moved to Sept. 13.