Brainerd council loosens liquor license restrictions

Owners of restaurants and some other establishments that sell on-sale liquor can hold more than one license.

Brainerd City Hall spring2.JPG
Brainerd City Hall. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Brainerd restaurant owners and other liquor license holders can now operate more than one establishment in the city that sells liquor.

The Brainerd City Council approved an amendment Monday, May 2, to its intoxicating liquor ordinance, allowing a person to have more than one Class 2 or 3 liquor licenses. A Class 2 license is an on-sale license for restaurants, while Class 3 is for establishments that sell on-sale liquor but are not bars or restaurants, like clubs, bowling alleys and hotels.

State statute limits the number of off-sale liquor licenses a person can have but not on-sale licenses. City Finance Director Connie Hillman brought the measure before the council in April after she said city officials received questions about the ordinance.

No one spoke during a public hearing for the ordinance amendment Monday, and council members passed the measure unanimously.

In other business Monday, the council:


Hired temporary summer employees: Ava Strong, downtown maintenance, $14 per hour; Jack Antolak, parks weekend maintenance, $16 per hour; and Jeremy Werhan, Mary Waytashek, Larry Eckel, Matthew Zinda, Donovan Jensen and Timothy Boeder, adult softball umpires, $30 per game.

Accepted the resignation of Community Service Officer Janey Ziegler and authorized staff to fill the vacancy.

Approved the hiring of Richard Barry as a community service officer, effective April 29, earning $16 an hour.

Accepted the retirement of Lynn Germann as water plant operator, effective June 30 and authorized staff to backfill the position.

Approved a job description for a water plant relief operator/laborer, which is a position Brainerd Public Utilities had until 2013. This person covered shifts due to vacation and sick leaves, something staff was able to cover until recently with a retirement and current staffing numbers.

Approved a leave of absence for BPU accountant Chelsey Fischer, as she is set to have a baby soon but has not yet met the 12-month employment requirement for Family and Medical Leave. The leave will last up to but not longer than 12 weeks.

Approved an agreement with WSB for interim engineering services while the city seeks to hire a new city engineer. The expense is $18,000 through Aug. 31, which is not budgeted, although the city would typically pay a full-time engineer roughly $47,000 during that time.

Approved a school resource officer agreement with Brainerd Public Schools for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years at a cost of $84,948 and $89,454, respectively. The School Board approved the agreement last week.


Approved a street closure request for the Memorial Day Parade and ceremony set for 9-11 a.m. May 30 on the Laurel Street bridge, B Street and Third Avenue Northeast.

Approved a street closure request for the annual Jaycees Street Fest, set for July 22-23 in the Mills parking lot downtown. Front Street will be closed between South Sixth and South Eighth streets.

Approved a bid from Custom Builders for improvements to East River Road in conjunction with the Mississippi Landing Trailhead Park construction at a cost of $57,618.47.

Denied a request 4-3 to vacate the alley running roughly north/south from Jackson Street to James Street between Northwest Second and Third streets. Gabe Johnson, Tad Erickson, Mike O’Day and Kevin Stunek voted against the request, as the petitioner did not have a plan of what they would do with the property.

Appointed David Haines to the Rental License Board of Appeals.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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