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Park Rapids leases old liquor store to Heartland Lakes Development Commission

The previous municipal liquor store, located at 100 8th St. E., will become the headquarters of the HLDC and a "hangar" for budding entrepreneurs.

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The Heartland Lakes Development Commission has entered into a lease agreement with the City of Park Rapids to use the old municipal liquor store building as the HLDC's new headquarters. Park Rapids Enterprise file photo, Sept. 29, 2018

The Park Rapids City Council approved a lease agreement Tuesday allowing the Heartland Lakes Development Commission (HLDC) to move into the old municipal liquor store.

The old liquor store is located at 100 8th St. E. adjacent to the fire department and has been vacant for several years.

Mary Thompson, executive director of the HLDC, said a contractor was standing by to begin renovation to prepare the building to serve as the commission’s headquarters.

At the council’s Jan. 26 meeting, Thompson also pitched the concept of developing a Heartland Lakes Entrepreneurial Accelerator Resource and Technology Hangar, described as “a co-working space that will provide a one-stop shop for a wide array of services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, freelancers and remote workers.”

At that time, she also asked for a 10-year lease of the 24,000-square-foot main floor, rent-free, with the city to cover insurance costs, garbage hauling and snow removal, as well as a small area in the basement for records storage while the city would retain the rest of the basement space for storing city records.

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The approved lease agreement requires the HLDC to pay $1,200 per year in rent, due annually on Sept. 1, but waives the first year’s rent (2021-22). The lease holds the city responsible for property taxes and insurance on the building.

Lobbying report

The council also heard a presentation by attorney Elizabeth Wefel with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities regarding the organization’s lobbying activities at the State Capitol during the past year.

The CGMC represents 109 Minnesota cities, all outside the seven-county metro area.

Wefel described how the coalition adjusted to the “new normal” of COVID-19 and briefly ran through concerns about the state budget and the importance of local government aid.

She identified such lobbying priorities for small cities as childcare, workforce housing, broadband, clean drinking water and streets.

Wefel identified upcoming CGMC events such as a fall conference Nov. 18-19 in Willmar and the next Legislative Action Day on March 2, 2022 in St. Paul.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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