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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 01, 2012, 10:20 PM

Another record year for municipal liquor sales in Minnesota

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) -- Another record year, the 15th in a row, for municipal liquor sales in Minnesota. In 2010, sales at the 209 liquor stores statewide were 313 million dollars.

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) -- Another record year, the 15th in a row, for municipal liquor sales in Minnesota. In 2010, sales at the 209 liquor stores statewide were 313 million dollars.

Michael Friesen took over The Hawley Municipal Liquor store in 2000. Since then they have moved to a brand new building off of highway ten.

Michael: "Our sales here have gone from 300 thousand from when I took over, we will be approaching 900 thousand this year in sales."

This city owned liquor store has seen an increase of customers over the years, from around 25 thousand a year to nearly 45 thousand.

Michael: "That move was for a boost in sales, and our sales have increased, and our profits have increased over the year."

The Store currently transfers about 4% of its operating revenue to the City general fund. Once the debt for the new building is paid off, city officials expect that amount to increase to almost 25% per year.

CJ: "Municipal liquor stores, many of them are in owned facilities and so of course they are making a lot more dollars then this store is currently right now, but you know in the future when this store is paid off it will make even more than it does right now."

One person who knows a thing or two about a small towns bottom line is CJ Holl. He has served as a city council member for four years. Holl says without these extra dollars things would need to be cut.

CJ: "Hawley has lost you know hundreds of thousands of dollars in local" government aid, and so having a municipal liquor store cushions that a little bit.

CJ: "You know all kinds of different things for the city, you know a new snow plow, all kinds of different needs that a city has."

Holl says any extra funds help keep the cities levies down. Funds will also go towards a firework show for the town's 140th anniversary.

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