Liquor store review seen in 6 months

By Seth Schmidt

After not receiving any applications for off-sale liquor licenses prior to a Sept. 30 deadline, Tracy City Administrator Kris Ambuehl told the city council Monday that efforts will continue to improve profitability at the city’s retail liquor store.

Ambuehl recommended the council “review the viability of building renovation, relocation, and profitability in three to six months.”

Liquor store profitability has been a city concern for the past several years. In February, it was reported that liquor store operations had lost $73,000 during 2016 and 2017. The city closed its on-sale bar in October of 2016 because of financial losses.

But Ambuehl had some good news for council members Monday. A year-to-date liquor store loss that stood at just over $6,000 in May, has been turned around into a $4,650 year-to-date profit. That represents an improvement of about  $10,000.

Ambuehl also indicated that new manager Tam Schons  is workking to improve liquor store profitability. 

This summer, the council was approached by Tracy Development Corporation representatives, who said they had a prospect for redeveloping the Red Rooster property along Hwy. 14. The party wanted to know whether city government would consider an off-sale liquor license application for the project.

The inquiry about the possible Red Rooster redevelopment, led to the council authorizing a “Request for Proposal” that would have allowed a private group to apply for an off-sale liquor license from the city.

Ambuehl told the council that no RFPs had been received regarding the liquor license.  At one point a request was made for an extension of the Sept. 30 deadline, he said, but that had been withdrawn.

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Jim Keul, president of the Tracy Development Corp., explained Tuesday that a party that had a strong interest in the Red Rooster redevelopment, had decided not to proceed with the projoect at this time. However, he said the non-profit group is continuing to work on other possibilities for the Red Rooster redevelopment, as well as other future projects designed to bring jobs to Tracy and increase the community’s real estate tax base. 

“We are extremely excited about some of the things we are working on,” he said, and thanked the many people who have “stepped forward” to support the TAC.