Liquor originally uploaded by Rob
The most recent Farmington City Council meeting (WMV video, Farmington Independent) offered an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions regarding a potential move of the downtown Farmington liquor store from its current location at 109 Elm St in a collection of strip malls centered around a grocery store to a more “visible” location approximately 1/3 of a mile away.
Farmington Mayor Todd Larson opened the public comment portion with a directive asking residents not to debate, “the philosophy of whether we should be or shouldn’t be in the liquor store (business), this is talking about purchasing this site as the future downtown liquor store…that decision has been made.”
Numerous residents spoke up at the meeting against the liquor store however none stood to support the proposed changes:
- The first resident to speak took issue with the city planning to take a taxable business location off the roles for them to sell liquor. He noted that no other alternative locations were provided to the residents to see and accused the City Council of planning to move forward with this new location regardless of the input given. Just before walking away he admonished all but one member of the council for refusing to respond to this e-mails even though they were elected officials after two of the councilmembers admitted they passed the buck to the City Administrator. When pressed one of the councilmembers claimed he needed more information.
The next resident to speak noted that the new liquor store would be located in a residential neighborhood and there are lots of small children who live nearby. She suggested that the council more strongly consider the location at Vermillion Crossing which would “only” require $500,000 to $700,000 more which would help to move the “issues and the drunks” as she doesn’t want her children exposed to that.
Another resident later in the meeting noted that the Farmington liquor stores do not make as much money as their local peers or even when compared across the state. He then asked whether the council/administration had a plan to make either of the two proposed properties far more profitable than the current stores provide.
What do you think about Farmington’s plans to move the current liquor store less than a third of a mile and the uproar it has caused? Do you agree with the residents (and one councilmember) that the new location, in a residential neighborhood, would be detrimental to the lives of the children living nearby? What do you think about city councilmembers refusing to respond to residents and instead blaming the City Administrator (who wasn’t in attendance) for dropping the ball? Are you a Farmington resident? Where do you shop for liquor? Do you believe this move is a positive one? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.