Crookston City Council news and notes: Question of 'Footloose' ordinance

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Crookston City Council approved a number of items at last week’s meeting including the University of Minnesota Crookston’s request to have their Homecoming tailgate event at the Crookston Sports Center, Ag-Arama Homecoming dance at the Crookston Inn, accepting a bid to clean, repair and paint two filter pressure vessels, and for the purchase of a new motor grader for Public Works.

    • UMN Crookston’s Homecoming is set for October 18-24 and the university will be hosting a tailgating event on October 23 prior to the Golden Eagles club hockey home opener at the CSC. The One ’N Only of Euclid will be selling alcohol and the college will be serving food from 12:30-2 p.m., plus there will be checking of IDs and wristbands. At-Large council member Tom Vedbraaten asked City Administrator Amy Finch about serving food and alcohol indoors in the future such as in the winter during other hockey games and Finch said there was some “foresight” put into amendments on the lease with the Blue Line Club and their concessions that would allow the city to control who, when, where and serving and consumption of alcohol inside the CSC, however, the city’s ordinances were not updated and currently prohibit it.

    “That is an area we’ve identified to make sure to correct that or put before you for a proposal and would in fact allow that,” Finch explained. “With the changes in the lease it appears that was the intent so we just need to get that cleaned up in the ordinances among a few other things with our liquor ordinances that are out of date.”

    Ward 2 council member Steve Erickson asked about other organizations going through the same process and request, and coming to the council for approval for now, and Finch said they’re doing the best they can to work with current organizations while making sure they’re consistent with what they ask when people come forward so when they do get their ordinances cleaned up there won’t be a major shift.

    • In a second request from UMN Crookston for Homecoming, this time for a dance permit for the Crookston Inn, Ward 6 council member Dylane Klatt wondered why they need a permit from the city to host an event at a privately owned building such as the Inn.

    “The dance permit in our ordinances is also a bit outdated, however because it is still required we are doing it probably more as a formality right now,” answered Finch. “It does put the city on notice if there’s increased capacity in a building, those types of things for safety but we will be looking at that also.”

    “That would be no different than if somebody had a wedding there, so to speak, they have a dance, wedding; it’s a structure that has legal alcohol permits,” Ward 5 council member Joe Kresl wondered.

    Finch told Kresl she did not have a good argument for that and Mayor Dale Stainbrook said it was the Ag Arama committee from the university that submitted the permit. City Clerk Ashley Rystad said community members are asked to come to the event versus a wedding at a closed (private) event.

    “I was thinking we were back in the ‘Footloose’ days,” added Klatt.

    “Maybe we should rename this part of the ordinance,” Finch joked. “We could either propose that we rename this the ‘Footloose’ ordinance or we will try to get something a little more up to date before you soon.”

    When asked by Vedbraaten, Police Chief Paul Biermaier noted that there is with the ordinance a requirement of police presence, but right now with the number of police reserve officers low they will put a third officer on to help out and have a presence.