Red Wing City Council briefsFrom the meeting of June 11, 2012.
Paraphernalia ordinance stands
Judge Thomas Bibus denied a request last week for a temporary injunction on the city’s new drug paraphernalia ordinance.
Mohammad Wazwaz, who owns the Smoke Shop on Tyler Road South, asked the court to put a hold on the ordinance’s enforcement while he sues the city.
Wazwaz’s claim is that the ordinance is unconstitutional. He also is seeking monetary damages, attorney Jim Thompson from the League of Minnesota Cities said. Thompson is helping the city with the suit.
Bibus ruled against the injunction on the grounds that Wazwaz’s case is not likely to succeed.
“The ordinance is not as vague or overbroad as plaintiffs contend, and does not leave as much ambiguity in enforcement as plaintiffs fear. Additionally, there is no evidence that the ordinance is being discriminatorily or arbitrarily enforced,” he wrote in his ruling.
But that is not a final judgment on the suit itself, Bibus said. That would be determined separately.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the sale of $2.375 million in general obligations bonds. Doug Green from consulting firm Springsted said the city’s “excellent credit rating” coupled with low interest rates contributed to a “very successful bond sale.”
The funds will help finance various capital projects the city has planned. The council has long been discussing using bonds to help with such projects.
The true interest rate of the bonds, which run through 2023, is less than 1.6 percent. Council member Lisa Bayley pointed out that while the rates are good, the city still will pay more than $200,000 in interest for the bonds.
Barrel House to give up license
The Barrel House will give up its city on-sale liquor license as part of an agreement reached last week.
The Minnesota Department of Health had reported the bar was operating without a valid food and beverage license and had purchased liquor from another retailer.
The city scheduled a hearing to determine any actions it would take on the matter. But instead, Barrel House owner Matthew Parker and the city attorney reached the settlement the council approved as part of its consent agenda Monday.
City considers grant application
The city is looking into applying for state grant money to fund local capital projects. Projects currently under consideration are the Sheldon Theatre building restoration ($1.25 million), the West Red Wing Fire station ($5.6 million) and Levee Street area and riverfront improvements ($3.87 million).
As part of a public works borrowing bill approved by the state Legislature this year, about $47.5 million was set aside for a capital projects grant program. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is handling the program. Applications are due June 26, city staff reported.
The council plans to review an application at its June 25 meeting.
The council unanimously approved the appointment of Verna Fricke to the Sheldon Theatre Board to a term expiring December of 2015.
Monday’s City Council meeting lasted about three and a half hours. All members were present.
--Compiled by Danielle Nordine, staff writer