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Bakery closing doors

Coming up on their one-year anniversary of taking over the bakery, Tom and Anna Olson posted a “we are closing” sign on their door last week.  The Bake Shoppe will shut its doors at the end of the day on Saturday, Dec. 20. Tom said they decided to close due to financial reasons. “We couldn’t make a go of it,” he said. The Olson’s were leasing the business from Leroy and Josie Smith.

Mills Liquor data shows ups, downs

A preliminary look at the Mills Liquor revenue and expense data shows some days and months are far better than others.
“This gives you a perspective, how much fluctuation is month to month and day to day,” said Mark Hanson, of West Central Alliance, as he presented expense and revenue charts at the NY Mills City Council meeting last week.
Hanson had four charts, which he pulled together strictly from revenue and expense numbers in the liquor store’s data system. The first chart showed expenses and revenue in the liquor store overall. The second and third chart split up off-sale accounts and on-sale accounts. The final chart compared revenues on specific days of the week.
Hanson stressed that charts show the numerical data only. He did not interview the city clerk or liquor store manager and he did not try to analyze the data. He simply compared the numbers from day to day and month to month.
Hanson said that at this point he was surprised that the liquor store does not make more of a profit. The liquor store has a lot of revenue, but it also has a lot of expenses. After looking through the numbers, Hanson said, “January through March are tough months and Monday through Wednesday are tough days.”
Data shows that April through August the revenue exceeds the expenses, however the remaining months of the year the expenses and revenues are about equal. According to data, the off-sale portion of the liquor store is the larger revenue source. Finally the preliminary data shows that on-sale revenue on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout the year totals just about $30,000. Hanson said a closer look at these numbers might spark important conversations and decisions for the council.  read entire story. . . .

Council approves levy increase

The New York Mills City Council approved a levy increase of 4.11 percent, after three years of holding steady. The 2015 tax levy, which was approved at last week’s meeting, is set at $405,000, up from last year’s levy of $389,000.
Although the levy is increasing, most NY Mills taxpayers should see a 4.7 percent drop in their taxes due to an increase in the taxable market value. With a variety of property improvements over the last year, the overall taxable market value has increased. More taxable market value means the city’s financial needs are spread out among more properties. The other factor in the total reduction to taxpayers was a last minute decertification of a TIF district.
The 2015 levied funds ($405,000) will be split between the general fund and debt bond funds. The general levy will be $236,000, while $169,000 will be to cover payments to four bonds. The remaining eight bonds are paid for using funds from other revenue sources such as the liquor store and sewer fees.
After approving the levy, the council approved the final 2015 budget. In the general fund, revenue is expected to be at $1,110,991, while expenditures are expected to be $1,100,452. The difference leaves a general fund net revenue of $10,539.  read entire story. . . .

Life experiences help guide juniors in future choices

Thanks to a partnership with New York Mills businesses, high school juniors hear first-hand accounts of career opportunities in NY Mills.
“Nothing beats real-world knowledge for students as they look into the future,” said Jay Sorenson, high school economics teacher.
For more than a decade, Sorenson has been working with local businesses in two different programs during his economics course. One program is geared toward entrepreneurs, while the other program is for careers in general.
In February, the economics class studies the concept of entrepreneurship. In doing so, Sorenson invites local entrepreneurs to stop in and share their story of building a business.    
“My hope is to let the kids learn from local business owners about the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur. Interested adults would come in to tell their story of entering into the business world and what they’ve learned from their experiences, and potentially they could share tips that they have for students interested in starting a business someday,” said Sorenson.
“By planting seeds now, we may see some of these students energized enough to someday give it a try,” said Sorenson. “On a bigger scale, it could lead to economic growth for our community and region down the road. I think it’s vital for students to see success stories locally and know that NY Mills and west central Minnesota is not only a great place to live and raise a family, but to start a business and make a living. It’s also fair to say that they need to learn that the job of being an entrepreneur is hard work and very difficult at times, and that’s why the speakers are so vital.”  read entire story. . . .