3/19/2020 2:39:00 PM North Branch City Council grant JJ's license extension
There were two North Branch City Council members participating in last week’s meeting via remote technology and two in the chambers, with the mayor absent. Business items handled included approving an extension to the JJ’s liquor license, in light of an issue of non-compliance. The type of license requires having a full service restuaranton-site, which the city became officially aware had not been the case at JJ’s since February 27.
The options of pulling the license or a temporary extension were up to the city, and council decided to give JJ’s 60 more days (from Feb. 27) to land a restaurant. Council members commented they expect to see compliance within the 60 days or the license will be revoked.
There was some lengthy discussion on the mayor’s suggestion for the city to bring in a facilitator to help council review the Water and Light situation.
The motion to approve use of an outside expert died on a tie vote 2-2. Acting Mayor Kelly Neider and Joel McPherson voted yes and Council members Kathy Blomquist and Brian Voss were opposed. The mayor being absent, could not speak about his request or break the tie.
The idea was to bring a League of MN Cities facilitator in April 2, which the city as an LMC member, has the ability to make use of.
Blomquist remarked that the council is working together “effectively” and she questioned why there’s a need for an outside party.
Acting Mayor Neider said personally she welcomes an independent viewpoint and expertise as potential bonuses of a facilitator.
Public Works Director Sean Williams saw his request to purchase a used aerial bucket equipped truck given approval. Rental hours for the unit are making it more cost effective to buy one, Williams explained. The truck has been inspected and deemed in good shape.