Back in February of 2008 when all the discussions were happening about the eventual building of the colossal waste of money, Liquor Store #3 in the ever so prestigious and empty Cobblestone Lake shopping center, Apple Valley City Council member Tom Goodwin said:
Councilmember Goodwin stated if the City was not in this business already, he would not vote to get into it. However, the City is in this business as a result of a vote of the citizens. The citizens believed the City would do a better job of controlling distribution. Liquor operations currently transfers over $400,000 into the General Fund annually. Without the liquor stores, the City would need to find a means to replace that revenue. Citizens who choose not to purchase from the Apple Valley liquor stores are not paying for the store, because liquor operations are not funded from property taxes.
Wow, over $400,000 a year between two stores, not bad! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal huh? Unfortunately, it would appear that this year, even with all the excitement about the new liquor store and people needing to drown their sorrows with bottles of booze, Apple Valley’s liquor stores aren’t doing very well because on December 11th, the Apple Valley City Council is planning to approve a measure to transfer $400,000 (please note that’s $400,000 even) into the general fund from liquor store operations.
I’m pretty confused here. Councilmember Goodwin clearly stated that these liquor stores transfer over $400,000 annually but this year they’re only going to transfer $400,000 even? Well, maybe they’re just not making as much money this year with the recession or the fact that they are sinking more and more money into the ever so awesome “mine is bigger than yours store” in Cobblestone Lake. Or, as evidenced by past history, Councilmember Goodwin just didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about.
Yes, I am telling you right now that the Apple Valley City Council made a very poor business decision based on incorrect information provided by another council member! Not only was Goodwin wrong about the revenue for 2008, he was way wrong about every fucking year for more than the last 10 years. Don’t believe me? Check this out:
1996: 1996-314 approving the transfer of $100000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 1996.
1997: 1997-284 approving the transfer of $100000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 1997.
1998: 1998-218 authorizing the transfer of $200000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 1998.
1999: 1999-273 authorizing the transfer of $200000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 1999.
2000: 2000-327 approving transfer of $200000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2000.
2001: 2001-246 approving transfer of $200000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2001.
2002: 2002-252 approving transfer of $200000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2002.
2003: 2003-228 approving transfer of $250000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2003.
2004: 2004-262 approving transfer of $350000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2004.
2005: 2005-234 approving the transfer of $400000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2005.
2006: 2006-232 approving the transfer of $400000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2006.
2007: 2007-253 approving the transfer of $400000.00 from the Liquor Fund to the General Fund for 2007.
Now, I will admit that the difference between “over $400,000″ and $400,000 even is only $1 but I really feel that Goodwin was misleading when he said what he did. Generally, when you’re talking about 100s of thousands of dollars, “more than” would imply something more than $1 and probably $25k to $50k more, at least in my experience. But from what we see above, $400,000 even is exactly what Apple Valley has seen in the general fund for the last three years prior to 2008.
If we look at the counts here, Goodwin was named as either making the motion to move the money into the general fund or seconding the motion in 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998 which are all except 1996 and 1997. You would think Councilmember Goodwin would have a better handle on the amounts transferred after having so much practice and familiarity with the subject matter wouldn’t you?
Back in 2005, Apple Valley City Council Member Grendahl “commended” the liquor chain for being run like a business. Being that they had increased the amount of revenue going into the general fund at that time, I would have to agree. What I don’t agree with is the current state of affairs with four years of the same revenue being plunked into the fund. Good businesses don’t operate with goals of meeting last year’s revenue and thus the Apple Valley Liquor chain really needs to get its fucking ass in gear if the citizens are going to continue to support it. I really want the city council to answer why they continue to believe that a $5 million addition in a barren retail wasteland two miles from a number of other liquor stores was a good idea when the liquor business hasn’t made any significant advances in the amount deposited into the general fund since 2004-2005. As if spending nearly $5 million dollars on a shiny, brand new, custom built store that should have been placed in one of the numerous empty retail establishments around town or even in the same complex as it currently stands would have been supported by any corporation…
If the Apple Valley City Council had gone for a more economical setup and perhaps taken up my fiscally responsible suggestion that they not build new and instead fill up a barren retail establishment instead, they might have been able to put less money up from the liquor store operations and more into the general fund. Unfortunately that wouldn’t make as much news and wouldn’t meet the “green” mandates of our mayor who could do a fuckload more to support “green” initiatives by forcing Wal-Mart to plant some trees on its unused green space rather than approving their expansion for a 5th Apple Valley grocery store.
It’s truly a sad state of affairs that I want to hear some commentary on. Should the Apple Valley City Council apologize to the public for raising taxes, stealing from the general fund to build an unnecessary store, and giving themselves raises or do you believe that they are doing what’s in the best interest of the city? Let us know what you think!