City officials are looking at new sites for the downtown Farmington liquor store
Sometimes, you have to take a couple of steps back before you can really move forward.
Such is the case with the city of Farmington's downtown liquor store location. After considering a move to an existing open building on Elm Street and hearing many negative comments from nearby neighbors, city officials are taking a couple of steps back before moving ahead with any plans for the downtown store.
Two things are happening simultaneously, city administrator David McKnight said. First, the city of Farmington has contacted the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association for help in assessing every aspect of the city's liquor stores after a couple of council members questioned whether the city still belongs in the municipal liquor business.
"First, we have to look at the operations of the liquor stores and everything that goes along with it to see if we're maximizing our profits there," McKnight said.
The MMBA provided city staff with assessment tools that have to be completed before an association representative gets involved. The paperwork, McKnight said, covers how the facility is set up, what is selling and what isn't, product sizes and even the store's location.
Determining the best location for the downtown site is the other part of the process city officials are working on now, McKnight said. He wouldn't be specific as to what sites the city is considering, but said staff started looking at new sites already last week.
"At this point, I wouldn't take any site off the possibility list," he said. "We're by no means done meeting with people. When word got out we were looking at different sites, we had people approach us, as well."
McKnight said staff will work on the different aspects of the liquor store situation over the next couple of months. He plans to have information to bring back to the city council by late spring or early summer. The timeline gives city staff time to find additional information if council feels more is needed.