Isanti street dance attendees will have a new beverage option at the last two street dances of the year after Isanti City Council approved a temporary on-sale liquor license for Thunder Brothers Brewery in a 3-2 vote.
Council Member Steve Lundeen and Mayor Jeff Johnson voted against the resolution, and council members Jim Gordon, Paul Bergley, and Dan Collison voted in favor of the resolution.
During discussion of the agenda item, Johnson explained to Collison that the issue was discussed at committee of the whole, which Collison missed.
“We did have a discussion there that we do have Dahlheimer that sponsors our street dances, as well as the Lions is the only one that sells the beer at the moment at our street dances,” Johnson said. “We kind of recommended having a discussion with Thunder Brothers and the Lions to see if we can kind of meet at the half-way point. We would be supporting an Isanti business if we did let them come in here. Some valid points were made that we do have two ice cream trucks, why can’t we have two different beer companies. One’s selling craft beer and the other selling tap beer.”
Bergley asked City Administrator Josi Wood to explain the sponsorship agreement the city has with Dahlheimer.
She explained they applied to give a sponsorship and sent the city a check that has been cashed. She noted the city does not have a contract with donations and sponsorships other than the application fee.
She further added that she was made aware of the verbal agreement with Dahlheimer in 2013. As far as she understood, it was an agreement that Dahlheimer would be the only beer sales at the street dances due to a limitation about being on a beer sign with another distributor.
Wood stated she thought Dahlheimer believes they will be the only beer sales at street dances.
“I don’t care what they believe, I want to know what the agreement is,” Bergley said. “It sounds like we don’t really have a hard and true agreement here, but I also want to stay true to our word.”
“We do support our city businesses,” Johnson said. “However, we did not want to trample all over the Lions and/or Dahlheimer. So, what we kind of directed was let’s have the Lions and Thunder Brothers sit down and talk about it. But, the only problem with that is if we did that, then it wouldn’t be on time for them to possibly make the next street dance.”
Lundeen stated he voted no in order to save money for the city, because Dahlheimer might ask for their $1,000 sponsorship back.
“We’re talking about a very small amount of money, and we are talking about a local business that we want to help promote,” Gordon said. “Why should we close off competition completely? What’s more important than the dollars and cents is the right for him to come to the street dances to sell and compete, especially in his hometown.”
New grant to add mental health officer
The council approved accepting a $125,000 grant from the Department of Justice COPS Hiring Program.
According to Isanti Police Chief Travis Muyres, the grant would allow the city to hire a new full-time officer in September, and the grant would pay the officers’ salary through nearly the end of 2021.
Muyres explained it would be an officer focused on mental health, advocating and being a liaison to get more help for city residents suffering from mental health problems.
“We don’t have the resources right now, we’ve done very well with very limited resources to respond to calls to do what we need to do on the reactive side. We don’t have the staff to do anything on the proactive side,” Muyres explained.