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Park trails may benefit from liquor store profits

Tall Grass manager reports 2020 net profit increase of $455,877 from 2019

Photo by Sam Thiel Tall Grass Liquor store manager Eric Luther holds up a bottle of Squirrelly, a Minnesota wine from Grandview Valley Winery in Belview in the store on Wednesday. Luther reported significant profit increase in 2020 during Tuesday’s Marshall City Council meeting.

MARSHALL — During a June meeting, the Marshall City Council discussed the possibility of updating trails at Independence Park. On Tuesday, the council may have found a solution to help fund the estimated $772,000 project.

The manager of the city’s municipal liquor store reported a significant increase in net profits in 2020. Those profits could provide additional funding for city projects.

Manager Eric Luther said Tall Grass Liquor had a net profit of $1,044,104 in 2020. This was an increase of $455,877 from 2019.

The COVID lockdown was credited as a reason for the spike in sales. Sales in 2021 remain relatively high.

The council discussed options for spending the profits from 2020. Staff suggested Independence Park trail improvement that is currently unfunded.

Council member James Lozinski said he would like to also see some of the profits go to levy reduction and possibly splitting it between the trail project.

Council member Steven Meister said from a parks standpoint, using the profits for the trail was a wonderful idea. He said Independence Park is beautiful and was a showcase for the community and supported giving the majority of profits to the trail system.

Luther believed his staff at Tall Grass would like to see the profits go to the trail.

Council member John DeCramer said keeping the levy down was important, but by giving this money to the parks the council is effectively keeping the levy down.

“If we’re going to keep a park up, we’re going to have to pay for it somehow,” he said.

The council adjourned to a closed session. The purpose of the closed session was for the council to engage in an attorney-client privilege discussion regarding potential legal action and code enforcement at Broadmoor Valley Mobile Home Park.

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