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Stewartville calls in EDA loan to former liquor store owner

STEWARTVILLE — The former owner of Ambassador Liquor still owes nearly $1,800 on a $12,450 loan from the city of Stewartville but hasn't made a payment since April 2012.

Now, the city wants its money.

Stewartville City Council members voted 4-1 on Jan. 22 to call in the revolving loan Gary Johnson took from the city's Economic Development Authority in 2008.

Johnson owned Ambassador Liquor, which closed in 2010 after the store's liquor license was revoked by the city because the store sold liquor to minors during compliance checks by the sheriff's office.

Council member Judy Hanson voted no on the motion. Mayor Jimmie-John King, and council members Gary Stensrud, Wendy Timm and Roger Hanson voted for the motion.


The same four council members approved soliciting bids for a construction manager to oversee construction of a new fire hall if voters approve the $1.8 million project in a March 5 referendum. Absentee voting starts on the measure Feb 5 and runs through March 4 at city hall. The four council members approved appointing finance director Barb Neubauer to be an election judge so that two judges would always be present if a person comes in to vote.

The council also voted to:

• Withdraw from the Minnesota Community Capital Fund and use the $50,000 the city had contributed to the group for a retail revolving loan fund.

• Approve plans and specifications, order advertisement for bids and secure finance sources for the 2013 street and utilities project, which includes Second Ave Northeast from Minnesota Highway 30 to Meadow Park and Sixth Street Northeast from U.S. Highway 63 to Second Avenue Northeast. The project is estimated to cost about $1.7 million.

• Dredge the Georgetown Pond. This is a runoff pond located near the Georgetown Meadows development. City Administrator Bill Schimmel explained that runoff from other properties also flows into the pond.

• Table changes to the city purchasing policy so more comments can be received.

The council is scheduled to meet again at 7 p.m. Feb 12 at city hall.

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