Businesses fined in sting operation

FAIRMONT – Two businesses were fined $500 Monday night by Fairmont City Council for selling alcohol to a minor in a sting operation.

The alcohol compliance checks took place in May of last year, when an underage person, under the supervision of a police officer, attempted to purchase alcohol from local establishments that hold liquor licenses.

The two businesses that failed to pass the check were Interlaken Golf Club and Expressway-BP.

The fine from the city is $500 for first-time offenses, though technically both BP and Interlaken have failed previous sting operations, in 2004 and 2001, respectively. Because of the amount of time that has passed since those incidents, City Attorney Elizabeth Bloomquist recommended fining them as first-time offenses.

Councilman Terry Anderson questioned if the fine should be higher, in accordance with general price increases.

“I just don’t think $500 is very much,” he said.

“The economy is not booming,” Bloomquist pointed out.

The council has the authority to increase the fines, something it will likely discuss in the future.

Also fined through the court system were the two employees who sold alcohol to a minor. Amelia Dawn Fernandez, with Interlaken Golf Club, and Michael George Egeness, an Expressway-BP employee, both entered guilty pleas for gross misdemeanor charges.

In other business?Monday, the council:

o Approved a construction grant agreement with Minnesota Department of Transportation. The grant is for $216,943 and will supplement Federal Aviation Administration funding that is paying for reconstruction of the airport’s main runway.

o Approved a low bid of $928,611 from OMG Midwest of Mankato for reconstruction of Elm Street, from First Street to the railroad tracks.