DMV, Monticello city-owned liquor store report banner year

This graphic tracks five-year sales for Hi-Way Liquors. The city-owned liquor store produced $4.91 million in 2012 revenues and cash flow from operations of $609,158. “We are exploiting our advantage, and Hi-Way Liquors is the city’s cash cow,” said City Finance Director Wayne Oberg. “Our liquor store is doing wonderful.” (Graphic Courtesy City of Monticello)

This graphic tracks five-year sales for Hi-Way Liquors. The city-owned liquor store produced $4.91 million in 2012 revenues and cash flow from operations of $609,158. “We are exploiting our advantage, and Hi-Way Liquors is the city’s cash cow,” said City Finance Director Wayne Oberg. “Our liquor store is doing wonderful.” (Graphic Courtesy City of Monticello)

The Monticello Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Hi-Way Liquors, the city-owned liquor store, operate with a simple mission in mind: Make money.

Both subunits of local government did exactly that in 2012, according to a year-end financial summary provided Feb. 11 by Finance Director Wayne Oberg. “We’re still several months away from audited financial statements,, but we feel pretty confident where we are at,” Oberg said during his report.

The Monticello Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is located at 119 E. 3rd St. The DMV administers state licensing and titling when processing titles, transfers and registration of motor vehicles, mobile homes, snow vehicles, boats and ATVs.

The deputy registrar processes all Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) game and fishing licenses as well as drivers’ licenses needing an address change or licenses that have been lost or stolen.

The DMV netted the city $460,247 in revenues, a net change from operations of $173,060.

“Part of the reason for that is the number of DMV transactions went up by 8.1 percent in 2012,” Oberg said.

The DMV’s annual transaction count almost reached 63,000. “They’ve done a wonderful job over there handling the extra workload,” Oberg said, crediting Deputy Registrar Manager Ann Johnson and staff for their hard work in managing the increased transactions.

Last year, license renewals went up 33 percent and titles and transfers went up 17 percent. “That contributed greatly to that increased number,” he said.

The charge for motor vehicle registration renewals increased from $4.50 to $6 per transaction on July 1, 2011, and the charge for in-state motor vehicle transfers, new motor vehicle titling, duplicate titles, loan changes and other title corrections increased from $8.50 to $10 on the same date, Oberg said.

Oberg’s financial report for Hi-Way Liquors was even more impressive.

The city-owned liquor store produced $4.91 million in 2012 revenues and cash flow from operations of $609,158.

Liquor Store Manager Randall Johnsen addressed the liquor store’s different sales categories (beer, wine, liquor and miscellaneous) during his summary.

Mayor Clint Herbst asked Johnsen to explain the increased sales figures for wine, which increased by 9 percent when compared with 2011’s sales totals.

“Liquor maintains,” Johnsen said. “It’s recession-proof. Wine is more variable. it’s something that’s growing, but your mainstay customers and customers who are just getting introduced to it. With that comes increased sales. You will see wine sales grow, but I don’t think you will see wine sales outpace liquor at our location,” he said. “I’d like to get it close, but I think it will always stay that way. We are a beer store. That’s up 7.3 percent,” he said.

Contact Managing Editor Tim Hennagir at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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