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Over the last few years, the municipal liquor stores of Becker County have been profitable, for the most part. All of the municipalities are on- and off-sale liquor establishments except Detroit Lakes and Vergas, which are both strictly off-sale. 2006 saw a revenue increase for some of the municipalities. Detroit Lakes, for instance, had $4.3 million in sales, $1 million in gross profit on those sales, and nearly $700,000 in net profit after all expenses.
At the state of the school address Tuesday evening, Frazee-Vergas School District Superintendent Deron Stender gave a fairly grim outlook on cuts for 2007-08. "I think people think we can go out on the football field and dig up a can (of money). We don't have a can," he said of lack of funds for the district. Frazee has dropped below the 1,000 mark with 998 students -- 79 fewer than at the end of the 2005-06 school year -- and is facing an estimated $1.1 million deficit for the 2007-08 year.
Becker County is showing interest in becoming a sustainable community. Earlier this month the Izaak Walton League and Natural Innovations brought Rolf Nordstorm to Detroit Lakes to speak about becoming a sustainable community. Becker County Housing and Economic Development Coordinator Guy Fischer, along with the city's seal of approval, is expressing his interest to Nordstorm that the area is interested in a sustainable future. "I'm happy the county, through Guy Fischer, was able to jump on this so soon," Alderman Bruce Imholte said.
Although no decisions have been made, the city is discussing the process of selling city-owned land. "In some cases, it's not really fair because people don't have a chance to bid," Alderman Leonard Heltemes said. Heltemes brought the issue to light after a small piece of property was sold last month to a man who requested it. The sale of property does come before the Detroit Lakes City Council for approval before a sale. Heltemes suggested that if a piece of land is worth a certain amount, it should be up for bid.
Let the building begin. Detroit Lakes' Menards is opening Tuesday for business. Residents have been awaiting the arrival of the home improvement store since the start of 2005, when Menards outbid Home Depot for the land near Wal-Mart for $1.3 million. The Detroit Lakes Development Authority had the public utilities 98 acres of land appraised at $476,000. Menards bought just 56.6 acres of that because the rest was deemed unbuildable since it was wetlands.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is hoping to have the Highway 10 project done in two years instead of the initially planned three years. It used an incentive plan with construction bidders to ensure a quicker project. "It's a huge benefit to the public," Jeff Perkins, operations manager for Mn/DOT, said of getting the project done quicker. On Feb. 24, Mn/DOT let bids, with the low bidder coming back as Hoffman Construction Co. of Black River Falls, Wis. Monday, the company was accepted as the official contractors of the project.
The Detroit Lakes City Council gave TS Recreation its blessing to stay where it's located and continue business as usual. But, the city wants to spruce it up a bit. The council accepted owner Todd Simison's landscaping plan at Tuesday evening's meeting. The landscaping plan will take place in two phases. The first one, scheduled to be completed by the end of May, includes the planting of about a dozen spruce trees between the two existing buildings along the East Shore Drive edge of the property.
Dunn Township is asking the Detroit Lakes Fire Department to give residents the option of fire service. Dunn Township Supervisor Mike Johnson asked the Detroit Lakes Public Safety Committee Monday to take their request for fire protection into consideration. The Pelican Rapids Fire Department covers Dunn Township, but some residents are opposed to what the fire department is asking of them. Johnson said Pelican Rapids is building a much-needed fire hall, but is asking Dunn Township residents to pay too large a share of the project. The city of Pelican Rapids will pay 30 percent, Dunn T
What started out as just another assignment for two Detroit Lakes Middle School students has turned into an art showing at Fargo's Plains Art Museum. Morgan Nodsley and Alyssa Boyle have their pieces of artwork on display in the museum for the month of March, with an opening today (Sunday). Nodsley's oil pastel of pumpkins was just a classroom assignment her art teacher Kim Boe had the entire class working on. "We had to draw what you saw from where you were sitting," she said. In Boyle's case, the class was working on impressionist paintings, and she chose her scene because "I used to
Three decades will come to a close next weekend when Playhouse 412 hosts its final production. Founded in 1977, the local theater group has voted to dissolve.