HAM LAKE – Ham Lake City Council passed a pair of resolutions in direct response to the state’s shutdown of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.
One will ease the burden business owners have when they apply for a liquor license.
The city council discussed possible ways to help those businesses that are on the hook for the city’s $4,800 annual liquor license fee. Businesses are typically issued the annual license on July 1. Right now, many of those businesses can not sell liquor because of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown.
“[We could] just say, ‘you were shut down for three months, that’s a quarter of the year you get a 25 percent discount on your license’,” suggested council member Gary Kirkeide.
Lino Lakes city council voted to do something similar earlier this month.
The other ordinance the city passed was to state Ham Lake’s constitutionality in being “business-friendly.”
In response to the on-going business closures from Governor Tim Walz’s executive order, the council was seemingly unanimous in its rebuttal, saying the orders harm constitutional freedoms.
“What our intent is – it isn’t to violate the law – it’s to make known that we’re not fully in support of an executive order that has no end to it,” said council member Gary Kirkeide.
This was in response to Attorney General Keith Ellison’s action against a business owner in Stearns County who had planned to open against the Governor’s orders, but has not.