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New DL liquor store narrows design to three architects

The city of Detroit Lakes received 11 proposals from architects looking to design a new municipal liquor store.

Staff narrowed it to the top three, and now interviews will be held to determine what firm will move forward with the project.

City Administrator Bob Louiseau said while "all were excellent proposals," three stood out because of their specific experience with liquor store and grocery store work -- Ringdahl and Associates of Alexandria, CNH of the Twin Cities and Baker Hogan of Perham.

The costs from the three firms were about the middle of the pack, Louiseau said. CNH bid the analysis of sites, development of estimated costs and design construction of a new store at $97,500, Ringdahl at $98,000 and Baker Hogan at $105,000.

"I would recommend any of the three," he said.

Community Development Director Larry Remmen said after checking the references of the architect firms, no red flags popped up, making it even more difficult to pick the best candidate.

A sub-committee was chosen of city staff and two council members to interview the candidates.

The council agreed to leave the final decision up to the sub committee as to who to hire after the interviews. Interviews will be conducted as soon as possible so the project can move forward.

Other items before the city council that were approved or discussed Tuesday include

• After 28 years with the city, Finance Officer Lou Guzek submitted his resignation, which was accepted with regret, effective Aug. 1.

• Jumping the final hurdle in the approval process, Ken and Helen Foltz were given approval to bump up their inland marina from 28 slips to 60 slips. They have agreed to put a wash station in at River View RV Park, formerly River Hills RV Park, for boaters to wash their boats before putting them into the Pelican River.

"We want to take a proactive approach," Ken Foltz said.

• The tax increment financing for the Downtown Crossing project has been approved. In total, through two different TIF approvals, it will generate about $990,000 for the city.

• The Statewide Health Improvement Program representatives will give a presentation Tuesday, March 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Forest Conference Room of Emmanuel Community.

The meeting will include survey results on what people in Detroit Lakes want to see regarding health improvements, an update on the Safe Routes to School grant, and an update on becoming a pedestrian-friendly community with multi-use trails. A free, light meal will be served at 5:15. The event is open to everyone.

• A special city council meeting will be held Tuesday, March 29, at noon to approve plans and specs for the North Tower Road project and the Veteran's Memorial Parkway and Downtown Crossing proj