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City approves Mexican restaurant liquor license; Owners plan to open soon

After the official swearing in of Mayor Timothy Meehl and council members James Johnson and Eric Spencer, the council approved the liquor license for Los Jalapeno Taqueria with little discussion.

There has been much buzz around town about when the authentic Mexican Restaurant would open. For several years, Perham residents with a hankering for Mexican food have traveled to Wadena’s Los Jalapeno, owned by Yobani Melchor and Pat Strand. Hearing from Perham residents that they wanted a restaurant in town, the owners found a building, which was vacated by Pizza Ranch when it opened its new store near Highway 10, and have been renovating the space.

Plumbing issues in hand, the final piece of the puzzle that will allow them to open their doors was local and state liquor licenses. According to Strand, they hope to open to a clamoring public on Feb. 1.

Further discussion on the single sort recycling program grant, which Perham plans to implement later this year, indicated a grant shortage to cover the costs of the containers needed for all city households, according to Steve’s Sanitation owner Kelly Melgard, who said with the underfunded grant, Perham could see its costs for the containers exceed more than the grant allotment of approximately $7,500. The county is looking into container costs, according to city manager Jonathan Smith.

New technology could include adding ID chips to the containers which would also increase the cost, however, Melgard said the only benefit of the chip is in tracking usage, a report he can generate now without the added expense associated with the chip and new computer programs for the trucks.

The city needs approximately 1,100 containers which could cost $58 to $60 per container for the 95-gallon size needed. With the council’s approval of the Otter Tail  County grant, city staff will continue to plan the logistics of implementing the recycling program, tentatively scheduled to begin in July.