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Vol. 112 No. 7 • Thursday, January 31, 2013 • Silver Lake, MN 55381
‘Smart’ inventory system approved for liquor store
By Alyssa Schauer Staff Writer The Silver Lake City Council approved the proposal to update and install a new inventory management system at the Silver Lake Liquor Store at a cost of $9,961, plus tax, at its regular meeting Jan. 22. The regular meeting was held on a Tuesday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, Jan. 21. Municipal Liquor Store (MLS) Manager Jerry Quast and Assistant Manager Jon Jerabek shared information about the pros and cons of the new inventory system, and said they believe it will save money and increase efficiency in the work force at the MLS. The new system will include “touch screen” registers, like the one currently being used in the off-sale store of the MLS. The software of the new system also will bring consistency to the computer system of the business. “Two new machines will be installed in the on-sale, and these will coincide with the machine that is already in the off-sale. We would just need to update the software on that computer,” Quast said. Jerabek said the inventory and the pricing of all goods are already programmed into the off-sale computer, and that same information will be installed into the two new machines. The office computer will be turned into the server computer for “Restaurant Manager” and will be the “main hub” for the store’s inventory, according to Quast. “One of the biggest things, besides taking inventory, is the fact that we will be able to run tabs on the registers. Right now, we keep customers’ credit cards next to the register with post-it notes of tallies of their drinks, and when it gets busy, the bartenders can forget to mark for drinks. It’s not a great system,” Quast said. “On these new machines, you can swipe the credit cards, and as soon as you do that, a tab stays open for them on the machine, so you can give their card back to them. This feature also will help us out with closing out tabs, and we don’t have to worry about people forgetting their cards at the bar,” Jerabek said. “It’s a lot safer, I think. You don’t have to have all these cards lying next to the register in the open,” Quast added. Quast and Jerabek said another benefit to the new system is the consistency in inventory. The employees will be able to use on-sale registers to ring up off-sale inventory if need be, and all mixed drinks, tap beers, wine, and liquor will be entered into the computer. Currently, the employees manually type in prices to ring up drinks and food. “I can see us saving a lot of money by ringing up the correct prices. For example, wine is $3.50 a glass, and just recently, a few employees thought the price was $3.25. Different people are charging different prices for the same drink. That floored me. This way, all drinks will be entered into the registers, and the bartenders do not have to worry about remembering the prices and entering them in,” Quast said. He said this consistency will continue into “drink chip” purchases. Quast said the liquor store has different chips for pop, beer, liquor and “top shelf” items. “Right now, some customers redeem any chip for any drink, and this way, all chips will have their own credit entered into the register and customers will have to pay the difference if they use their chips on other items,” Quast said. Quast added that the new system also will monitor productivity of the employees. “You can have the registers set up with a code, and the employees will have to swipe a badge before ringing up purchases,” he said. “Do you see that as being practical?” Mayor Bruce Bebo asked. “On an average night, yes, but when it gets busy, I could see how that would be tough,” Quast said. “Is it necessary?” Councilor Pat Fogarty asked. “It could be a real tool,” Quast said. “Even if we’re not looking at productivity of anybody, they know we have that capability,” Jerabek added. “And what will you do with the old machines?” Councilor Carol Roquette asked. “They will be utilized upstairs (at the auditorium) and/or at the pool,” Quast said. Quast added that the new inventory system also is capable of printing recipes for drinks. “Another nice feature is the fact that they can print recipes for drinks, and it even tells you what glass the drink goes in, the ingredients, etc.,” Quast said. “It’ll keep things consistent,” Jerabek added. “Is spending $10,000 on this
Silver Lake Leader photo by Alyssa Schauer
Dave Dostal rebuilt his 1979 Polaris TXC for the Vintage Sled Race in Thief River
Falls set for Saturday, Feb. 9. This is Dostal’s first vintage sled race.
Dostal’s snowmobile race strategy is ‘to just finish’
By Alyssa Schauer Staff Writer hen it comes to competitions, particularly NASCAR racing, or biking the Tour De France, running competitively, and go-kart racing, the objective is to win. For Dave Dostal, who will participate in the annual USXC Vintage Snowmobile Race on Feb. 9 in Thief River Falls, the objective is “to just finish the race.” Dostal, 48, of rural Silver Lake, said this will be his first time racing a vintage sled. “I was registered last year, but with lack of snow, the race was canceled. So this is
the first year, and I guess my goal is to just finish,” he laughed. The track is 180 miles, beginning and ending in Thief River Falls. Dostal explained that the map from two years ago shows the race track looping through nearby towns. “The first gas stop is 60 miles from the finish line, at the casino (Seven Clans Casino), and then the track loops around 60 miles, and we return to that same gas stop for a second stop to fill up before heading to the finish line,” Dostal said. He said two years ago, 38 sleds participated in the vintage race and only eight finished.
“The biggest reason racers do not finish is because of sled breakdowns, such as engine failures, or they hit debris and the skis break off,” he said. For the race, Dostal built his 1979 Polaris TXC. “I had the engine and drive train, and I bought parts to duplicate it for cross-country racing. I bought the hood and running gear from Tony Humlicek and Bruce LaMott, and another piece from Jeff Mallak. Jim Zeik did the body work. It took about a week, on and off, to finish it,” Dostal said. He added that Humlicek,
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China: Oftedahl gives thoughts on recent tour at growers’ banquet
By Rich Glennie Editor “China is where the United States was in the late 1950s,” said Myron Oftedahl, a farm business management instructor and guest speaker at Saturday’s annual meeting and appreciation banquet of the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers. Oftedahl, who also is a member of the county board of directors, traveled with an agricultural delegation last year, and said the young Chinese are moving into the bigger cities for “better paying jobs.” And China is losing more farmland each year to development. Oftedahl spent 10 days in China learning about the Chinese soybean industry and meat export markets. He noted that China is by far the No. 1 importer of U.S. soybeans. China imports about 58 percent of the U.S. soybean production, or about 836 million tons a year. China also has about 70 percent of the world’s “aquaculture,” but flooding is a major issue. China also has about 50 percent of the world’s pork production, Oftedahl added. The delegation stayed the majority of the time in Shanghai. Oftedahl said, “I was impressed on how huge the city that the freeway systems were good. He said when space becomes an issue, the Chinese build up. There are a lot of two-deck roads, he added. Oftedahl said the main diet of the Chinese consists of pork and poultry. There is little beef consumed there. The Chinese buy a lot of their groceries every day because of their small living accommodations. Often they buy live animals, especially poultry, from the markets. To get fresh meat imports through Chinese customs is an issue, Oftedahl said, and the Chinese do not know what to do with frozen meats. While the U.S. has made inroads into the Chinese markets, there have been obstacles, too. He said it seems all meats are used for stir fry by the Chinese, and most of that is “secondary cuts. They don’t know what to do with ham or pork chops.” Oftedahl said the Chinese prefer the U.S. beans to South American beans, because the latter has a red color. “It was a weird mix of bicycles, scooters, buses and cars, all at once,” Oftedahl said of the street congestion in Shanghai. “Electric scooters will kill you,” he smiled, “because you can’t hear them.” He said pedestrians “have little rights.” It is the first to the intersection who wins, he added. There was another surprise, Oftedahl said. “I wasn’t prepared for all the private industry in China,” and added they toured several private soybean processing plants in Shanghai. They are modern-looking facilities, Oftedahl said, but a lot of the work of loading and unloading is still done by hand. The majority of the processing plants is on the east coast of China. He said the Chinese rely on the imported grains mainly for feed, and the domestic beans are for consumption. Oftedahl said the Chinese “are very friendly, open and formal. It was an amazing trip. Very interesting.” He presented a slide show of his 10-day trip that included five days in Shanghai, four in other parts of the country and the last day in Hong Kong. ***** The annual meeting of the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers also included an election of officers for 2013. Board member Dean Zimmerman retired, and the newest board member is Bob Lindeman. The 2012 board consisted of Francis Svoboda, president; Brian Thalmann, vice presi-
Silver Lake Leader photo by Rich Glennie
Myron Oftedahl is, and how many people are there — 25 million!” Even though China’s land mass is about the size of the United States, it has a population of over 2 billion people. “The cities in China are very clean,” Oftedahl said. He added farmers lease land from the government for 40 to 70 years, but if the government wants the land back, it takes it. The farmers, however, own the house on the land, he added. Oftedahl also was surprised
Ray Bayerl, left, received the Friend of Agriculture award from the McLeod County Corn & Soybean Growers Saturday night at the Pla-Mor Ballroom in Glencoe. With Bayerl are Francis Svoboda (partially hidden), president of the county organization, and Brian Thalmann, vice president. Bayerl recently retired after a long tenure as a McLeod County commissioner. dent; Brian Jungclaus, treasurer; Oftedahl, secretary; and board members Wayne Albrecht, Larry Ide, Mark Johnson, Steve Reiner, Dave Resch and Nathan Winter. Also speaking were representatives from the Corn Growers and Soybean Growers associations as well as Svoboda, who gave an update on the association’s activities throughout the past year. The association also honored Ray Bayerl, recently retired McLeod County commissioner, as its Friend of Agriculture. The appreciation night banquet ended with music by Mona Hjerpe and Friends, that included John Rodeberg, Brian Brosz and John “AFrame” Beck.
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