Reversing an earlier 3-to-2 vote to move its downtown liquor store, the Farmington City Council has decided to keep the troubled store at its present location.
Member Christy Jo Fogarty switched her vote, saying she decided to go with the city staff's recommendation, said Mayor Todd Larson.
Barring any more changes before next Monday, the council will approve a five-year lease with Tom Wartman, owner of the existing store in the City Center shopping center, Larson said.
The council had discussed whether higher visibility at the Tamarack Ridge Center on Hwy. 3 would improve returns for the low-profit downtown store, for which the lease expires July 31.
Fogarty joined Larson and Council Member Terry Donnelly in favor of staying put. The new site would have been smaller than the current store.
City Administrator David McKnight had said that although the new store had a lower lease cost in the first year, start-up costs would total about $200,000 to move big coolers and liquor and to extend fiber-optic cables to the store to connect its computers to the city's data system.
"We know our customer base here, and we can run the store smarter," Larson said. "I didn't want to risk losing customers and sales by moving."
As Scott County nears the opening of Spring Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake this fall, an extensive forest cleanup and restoration is being planned.
A nearly $90,000 effort, half paid for by the state, is being planned with a nonprofit called Great River Greening, based in St. Paul. No property tax proceeds are involved in the local match, officials say.
The county wants to have work done on what it calls a "significant Big Woods forest habitat," restoring an oak savanna.
One element would involve removal of buckthorn and other invasive plant species. Restoring the savanna "will provide improved viewing points, opportunities for nature study and exploration, and a quality mix of habitat ... adjacent to the paved trails being constructed in the park this year offering easy access and enjoyment by users of the new trail system," according to a memo to the County Board.
Trails in the woods are being created this month, according to county parks chief Mark Themig, with the park's opening projected for autumn.Antique tractor show at county park
A series of free events is coming up at Cedar Lake Farm Regional Park as the new facility gears up for expanded use.
There's a free antique tractor show from July 20 to 22 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., including a daily tractor parade at 1 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
That Saturday there also are entertainers on tap at times during the day and into the evening, including the New Prague Concertina Club from 5-8 p.m.
To learn more, visit www. startribune.com/a1484 or call 763-694-7778.Mobile health unit's schedule released
The mobile health unit for residents in need of medical services will be functioning in Shakopee, Savage and Jordan over the rest of the summer.
The unit, a cooperative venture between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the county's public health department, provides health screening, mammograms, prevention, and education and treatment.
The unit will function from 2 to 5 p.m. on the following dates:
•Friday: Shakopee Russian Church
• Aug. 9: Savage Public Library
• Aug. 23: Shakopee Russian Church
• Sept. 6: Scott County Fairgrounds, Jordan
Your chance to run for office in Prior Lake is coming up, with three seats expiring on the City Council.
Filings open July 31 and close Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. There's a packet to pick up at City Hall, with the filing fee just $5. It's a four-year term of office.
Terms of Mayor Mike Myser and council members Warren Erickson and Richard Keeney are up at the end of the year.
For more information and a map of precinct boundaries and voting locations, visit www.cityofpriorlake.com/election.
JIM ADAMS, DAVID PETERSON