Two area individuals outlined business plans for operation of an off-sale liquor license during the Canton City Council meeting last Wednesday, Oct. 9. The off-sale liquor license is currently held by the city as it operates the municipal liquor store. With the closing of that establishment on Nov. 1, the one allowed off-sale license will be available for use by a private business.

The first proposal, presented by Denise Firnekas, was for the establishment of a new business, to be named Boomers Off-Sale of Canton, to be located on Minnesota Highway 52 across from TJ's. The new business would be located in the office portion of the former Bang's Electric building, now owned by Johnson Farms. The area was estimated to be about 2,000 square feet.

According to Firnekas, she has passed the required background checks and has also laid the required groundwork to proceed with opening the business if she is granted the off-sale license. She added that she will be able to secure the necessary insurance and coolers for any inventory for the business.

Firnekas stated she has surveyed the office area and feels there is adequate shelving to hold her planned increased inventory as well as the possible expansion into other areas, possibly novelties and gift items. In addition, her business plan included the hope that it will be advantageous to her location to have other businesses nearby.

Firnekas' proposal also included the expansion of hours, which she expects to be assisted by the higher visibility location on the highway, still within city limits.

It is the desire of the applicant to continue to work with special events currently held by the city like the firemen's dance and she would like to develop relationships with other event planners as well.

She stated that she plans to operate the business herself with no plans to hire additional help at this time. Firnekas also stated she is a veteran, is hard working and is looking forward to potentially making the venture succeed if granted the opportunity to operate the off-sale business. Her plan is limited to off-sale only with no competition with the two existing city on-sale businesses.

As a closing statement on her business plan provided to the council, Firnekas stated she felt that if the city approved her application, she would be increasing the tax base for the city by adding a commercial business to the city. If granted the license, Firnekas believes she could have her new business operational by Nov. 1, the date that the city's operation is slated to end.

Nick Prestby, owner of the Canton Pub, was also in attendance, giving an oral presentation to the council regarding his own wishes to obtain the off-sale license.

Prestby stated his plans included expansion of his existing cooler space and putting the actual liquor inventory behind the bar of his existing business.

Prestby also felt his plan would include the establishment of additional service hours for the off-sale portion of his business due to the current open hours of the Pub.

When asked, Prestby stated he had no plans to expand his restaurant to accommodate the off-sale area.

Prestby has met all necessary background checks and licensure requirements due having to active business in good standing.

Prestby also stated he felt that he did not receive adequate notice of the need for a written business proposal and following some discussion, at the recommendation of Carl Ernst, the council approved additional time be allowed for Prestby to write his plan and present the written version to the council.

The special meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.

In a related area, the cost to the applicant of the off-sale license was discussed. Area communities had been surveyed and it was determined that the $100 annual cost was in line with other cities. Approval was given to charge that amount for the off-sale license.

Other business

In other matters, the council approved the following actions and discussed the following issues.

o Approval was given to a trial investment of city funds in the 4-M League of Minnesota Cities Investment program.

o The Rockwell Collins Grant window installation project was reported to have been completed, with the planned installation of the town hall windows completed on Saturday, Oct. 5.

o Rent was set for the community center for weekly meeting usage. The amount of $15 weekly was approved.

o Jon Nordsving reported that the biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant will be spread this fall. He also said repairs will be completed on a portion of Prairie Avenue and bids will be sought for the overlay of Prairie Avenue. It was also reported that the installation of the sidewalk between the shelter and the town hall is to be completed soon.

o Cindy Shanks stated that the time of the Santa Day festivities, on Saturday, Dec. 14, will be changed to 3 to 5 p.m., with the parade to follow at 6 p.m.

o It was also reported that the annual Firemen's Dance is planned for Saturday, Nov. 2.