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Northbound Spirits has new manager

The Menahga City Council approved Heather Shepersky at their Monday, Nov. 14 meeting.

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Heather Shepersky
Shannon Geisen/Park Rapids Enterprise
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Heather Shepersky is the new manager of Northbound Spirits.

The Menahga City Council approved the hire at their Monday, Nov. 14 meeting.

Interim City Administrator Laura Ahlf said there were two candidates. She said the personnel committee recommended hiring Shepersky “due to the interview and reference checks.”

Shepersky has worked at Northbound Spirits for about three years.

Council member Dan Warmbold said the liquor store is short-staffed. “They put a lot of hours in there, a lot of overtime for three people. They need one more person,” he said.

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The council approved placing an ad for a part-time position at the municipal liquor store.

In other business, the council did as follows:

  • Canvassed the 2022 general election results. Mayor Liz Olson was re-elected to a two-year term. Jody Bjornson and Mike Netland were newly elected to the council for four years.
  • Heard a presentation from Karen Olsen of Ferguson Waterworks about new meter-reading software. She informed the council that its current software, called Neptune, will reach its end of life in Dec. 2023. She proposed using Driveby, a cloud-based software. A one-time set up fee and training would cost $3,600. Olsen noted that Banyon charges a one-time $2,500 interface fee as well.
  • Heard complaints about winter access to Spirit Lake. Olson recommended sending letters to adjoining landowners at the public access near State Hwy. 87. Parked cars are blocking access for snowmobilers, she said. Bjornson noted that this has been an unaddressed issue for years. Menahga resident Joanie Liimatta said city snow plowers create a berm, which also restricts access.
  • Referred a question to the city planning commission, posed by temporary administrative technician Jensine Kurtti, about how many water service connections are required for multi-family dwellings. The current city ordinance states “no more than one house or building shall be supplied from one service connection, except by special permission of the council.” Jensine said, “I think it would be much more beneficial and time saving to have criteria in place” for a duplex, four-plex, apartment buildings and townhouses.
  • Learned the COVID transmission rate is still high in Wadena County, so masks are still required at Greenwood Connections.
  • Due to PEIP’s insurance renewal rate increasing by 50% in 2023, Ahlf spoke to Greenwood Connection’s payroll company, PROCare HR. They recommended using Gravie, an individual marketplace, for benefits. Ahlf reported she is considering designating a certain dollar amount to each employee to use toward the purchase of health insurance.
  • Reappointed Larry Murphy to the city planning commission for another three years.

The council’s next meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28. They will hold a budget meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5. The city’s truth-in-taxation hearing will be 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12.

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Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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