Liquor store to save cash on new POS system

By Robert Williams


Vergas Veterans founding committee representatives Lyle Krieg and Doug Safar updated an expansion proposal for the near future at the memorial during the meeting of the Vergas City Council, Tuesday, March 14.

An 18×8 foot octagon gazebo is planned to be added 20 feet from the baseball fence, along with a “Freedom Rock” War Memorials painted by Ray Sorensen. Sorenson began creating the memorials for Iowa counties and has expanded the memorials to more states. There are five in Minnesota.

“In order to build this gazebo, we’d want to put this rock in first,” said Krieg.

Contributed photo
The Vergas Veterans Memorial Park will have added benches this spring, along with expanded construction that will include an 18×18-foot octagon-shaped gazebo.

Sorenson’s art involves capturing some local history in the memorial’s painting, along with a U.S. flag. While the installation may happen this year, the painting is likely scheduled for 2024.

Two more benches will be added this spring, along with 10 other granite items and there are five more benches that are available.

The five benches were purchased by the committee for continuity in the style of granite used and the plan is to use them in the gazebo.

The committee approached the planning and zoning committee and gained approval for the project with the proper permitting after winter.

A planned sprinkler system installation will be delayed until after the new construction. 

The board approved the plan unanimously. Planning and Zoning will handle the construction permitting later this year. Mayor Julie Bruhn is the acting board liaison with the veterans committee.

Liquor atore

Liquor Store Manager Kyle Theisen reported on his research into a new point of sale system.

Store employees have been dealing with issues affecting business with the current system that has support based out of New Jersey. Theisen has consulted with a Thief River Falls firm that specializes in liquor store inventory and point of sale operations. Equipment includes an automatic hotspot that activates upon loss of internet to keep sale functions going. 

“It eliminated all of my current monthly payments and just a payment of $150,” said Theisen. “There are no yearly subscription fees like I’m currently paying right now.”

According to Theisen, current support fees are $135 per hour; the new company would eliminate those fees covering support costs with the $150 monthly subscription.

The system negates a need for a server-based storage that is done on a computer at the store with monthly fees. Storage with the new system is cloud-based with no fee.

The same system is used at Ditterich Mercantile.

The board approved the change with an initial installation cost of $2,125 and the monthly subscription. It will take 2-4 weeks for installation and data transfer.

OTC garage property

According to city clerk-treasurer Julie Lammers, Otter Tail County is 95 percent moved out of the former county garage located downtown. OTC is selling the property to the city of Vergas for $1.

The board approved a right of first refusal, allowing Lammers to move the purchase froward via warranty deed with the county.

Park board

Maggie Putz was recommended and approved to join the Park Board. The community club donated two picnic tables and West Central Initiative is donating two apple trees as part of the organization’s effort to place said trees in all 82 communities in west central Minnesota.

From the community club meeting minutes, Andy Mekalson from Frazee-Vergas summer rec presented a plan for Vergas to host some 15U, 13U and little league baseball games this summer. Donations are sought to offset a $10,000 deficit that has been occurring with the program. Natalie Fischer made a motion to donate $2,000 contingent on city approval of use of the fields and with the hopes that the city of Frazee will match the donation. 

Event Center

Upon completing the flooring project at the Event Center, the walls were in need of painting. Bids for the project were put out with the lowest bid of $12,500. The Event Center committee is fundraising for the project. Four purses left over from February’s Purse Bingo will be raffled off at Billy’s. Three donations of $500 each were accepted.

The Vergas Community Club wil prepay $5,000 for the project. The vote was passed by the community club board during their meeting March 6, contingent on the VCC getting to use the event center for the next two years without rental fees and council approval, which was unanimous.

A transfer of $17,000 from the city’s money market account to the general fund was approved to pay for the flooring project.

Planning Commission

The commission reviewed the proposed final plat for Lawrence Lake Acres in February and recommended approval by the council for phase II of the subdivision, which includes 15 lots, according to planning chair Bruce Albright. A final phase III plan will be submitted at a later date. The board approved the plan unanimously.

The gravel pit ordinance is being updated to remove discrepancies and clean up the language and permit inspection process, but was decided to go back to planning and zoning for final revision prior to being presented in full to the council.


Utilities Superintendent Mike DuFrane located a $21,000 generator hookup to retrofit the water plant during an emergency power outage. The city would be utilizing $11,000 of remaining American Funds Act monies, along with a $10,000 grant application to the Minnesota Department of Health’s Rescue Plan Act. The grant application submission was approved, along with the Act monies usage. 

Bids for the project are ongoing and the project is contingent on grant approval, likely to be determined by the end of April.