The East Grand Forks City Council on Tuesday approved a temporary liquor license for the VFW’s Bikes and Bites event and considered proposals for funding projects at the Good Samaritan Society and LaFave Park.
VFW Post 3817 applied for the temporary liquor license so alcoholic beverages can be served and consumed in the restaurant row parking lot for its July 18 event. The council voted unanimously to approve the application during the special meeting.
The council considered requests and proposals for the Good Samaritan Society, LaFave Park, the police department and various maintenance projects after the special meeting concluded.
The Good Samaritan Society requested assistance in building a patio area for the residents of Maples in Heritage Grove, a senior housing and assisted living facility. The project is the brainchild of JoAnne Whicker, a resident of Maples, who said she was dissatisfied with the limited outside seating.
“After you get done with lunch, there’s nothing to do but go upstairs,” Whicker said.
Phase I of the Heritage Grove Patio Project would cost the Good Samaritan Society $26,900, according to early estimates, but Whicker said they could negotiate the price down and receive donations for building materials.
Also up for discussion was a Department of Natural Resources Legacy Grant application that would help pay for $1.6 million in improvements for LaFave Park.
To have a better chance to receive funding for the project -- which would update the boat ramps, parking lot and landscaping -- the city could contribute 20% of the overall cost.
Councilman Dave Helms said he is concerned about spending more than a million dollars on a park prone to flooding. The city would have to pay for approximately $420,000 to reach 20% of the required funding.
Councilman Marc DeMers suggested the city request money from the Department of Natural Resources to cut down on costs for the boat ramps. His proposed idea would have the department pay for the boat ramps while the city applies for grant funding for other aspects of the improvement project.
“The DNR promised a new boat ramp in 2010,” DeMers said.
Police Chief Mike Hedlund requested direction on a less costly issue: what should the police do about unlawful signs?
Lawn signs are not allowed on public land due to a city ordinance, but Hedlund said he and his officers find many illegal signs throughout East Grand Forks. The police rarely enforce the ordinance due to the large number of signs and the small number of complaints. Hedlund wanted City Council guidance on whether the police should start enforcing the ordinance strictly.
Public Works and the VFW Arena requested replacements for their current boilers and the library requested a new air conditioner and coil. Karla Anderson, the finance director for East Grand Forks, said the cost of the replacements can come out of the $250,000 yearly building maintenance fund.