Shutdown hits breaks on licensing renewals

A prolonged state government shutdown could slow some area businesses.

Deer Creek Speedway renewed its liquor license, but did not receive a buyer’s card from the state to buy wine or higher-alcohol content liquor, according to Randy Queensland, a manager at the raceway.

While Queensland said they’re approved to sell liquor since the county received documentation of the license renewal, they can’t buy new high-content alcohol products without the card.

“We are approved, we’re just in somebody’s outbox up there, and it (the buyer’s card) never got to us,” Queensland said.

That doesn’t mean the speedway will have to go dry just yet. Deer Creek will still be able to buy 3.2 beer and sell the higher-alcohol products already in stock, since it has its license.

“We’re probably luckier than most because of the inventory we have,” Queensland said.

“It’s a minor hiccup. It’s just a nasty inconvenience,” he added.

However, Deer Creek won’t be able to buy anything new if the shutdown goes on for an extended time.

A prolonged shutdown could have a negative impact on businesses not able to renew licenses, according to Auditor-Treasurer Doug Groh.

“It impacts them negatively,” Groh said of businesses that cannot renew licenses. “That’s their livelihood. And I feel bad about that, but I think we did everything we could.”

Since liquor licenses are due monthly, there could be another wave of businesses unable to renew licenses in August.

Forfeited freeze

The county is waiting for the deeds on six forfeited properties from the state of Minnesota

According to Groh, a backlog at the state is causing the delay after the shutdown reduced the number of workers in the Department of Revenue.

People who purchased foreclosed properties cannot take possession of the properties they acquired through tax forfeiture sale because of the backlog at the state.

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