Six options on the table for Farmington municipal liquor storeOn Tuesday, the Farmington City Council held a work session to consider the pros and cons of six potential sites for its downtown liquor store. The hope, city administrator David McKnight said Tuesday afternoon, was that council members would whittle down the list to one or two favorable sites.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
When an agenda item for Tuesday’s Economic Development Authority meeting fell through, another opportunity presented itself for the Farmington City Council.
On Tuesday, the Farmington City Council held a work session to consider the pros and cons of six potential sites for its downtown liquor store. The hope, city administrator David McKnight said Tuesday afternoon, was that council members would whittle down the list to one or two favorable sites.
The sites up for consideration include the city-owned former Rambling River Center building across the street from city hall, the laundromat building on Elm Street, an undisclosed site on the south end of Highway 3, a site near the intersection of Highway 3 and Elm Street, a site in the Tamarack Ridge Center on Highway 3 and in vacant space in the current Rambling River Center building, which is also city-owned.
Each of the sites comes with a list of pros and cons. In the agenda packet, McKnight also provided traffic counts for each of the sites.
The section that gets the highest volume of traffic is Highway 3, from the stoplight at Elm Street to County Road 66, where approximately 13,500 vehicles travel daily. The second highest in volume is on Elm Street, from the Denmark Avenue to Third Street, where an average of 12,600 vehicles travel daily. The fewest vehicles – 2,500 – pass by the old Rambling River Center building by city hall.
The city has also received a lease proposal from the owner of the Tamarack Ridge Center. The proposal calls for a five-year lease with a starting rent of $9.50 per square foot. Rent would increase to $11.50 per square foot in the fifth year. Currently, the city of Farmington pays $21 per square foot for its downtown liquor store site in the City Center development.
The area defined in the Tamarack Center would be next to the former Blondie’s restaurant site. It would encompass approximately 5,068 square feet.
While McKnight did not know how the council would feel about any of the proposed sites, he expected some discussion about putting more business out along Highway 3.
“We have 11,000 cars going through there,” he said. “It will come up.”
The liquor operations discussion was scheduled late last week after a report on the Vermillion River Crossing project was dropped from the EDA agenda. That opened up a large chunk of time for the group, which is made up primarily of city council members. One council member suggested using the time to consider the proposed liquor store sites, so a council work session was scheduled.
“It was a case of, we have the time to talk about it so let’s do it,” McKnight said.
At press time, the work session had not been held. The Independent will follow up with more information in next week’s issue, or on our website, www.farmingtonindependent.com.