MENOMONIE — The City Council on Monday passed a motion saying it intends to not renew the beer and liquor licences next month for Rehab tavern.

Rehab, 631 Broadway St. S., has been at the center of recent discussions related to Menomonie’s downtown drinking culture after April 12, when 45 underage drinking infractions and other citations were issued at Rehab, which is owned by Menomonie resident David Zempel.

According to city Administrator Lowell Prange, Rehab has applied to renew its Class B beer and Class B liquor licences, which would go into effect July 1 if not for the city’s intent to deny.

Mayor Randy Knaack said the high number of citations has opened the council’s eyes to excessive drinking downtown.

“It has activated more awareness,” Knaack said.

The council unanimously favored notifying Rehab of its intention to not renew its liquor licenses. Prange said Rehab can request a hearing on the notice.

Previously, Knaack said Rehab has not had a history of alcohol-related violations. In addition, Menomonie police Chief Eric Atkinson said the bar has passed previous alcohol compliance checks.

Since April, Zempel said he has added a second person to check IDs at the bar and has installed a camera to monitor the area where IDs are checked. He also has hired a consulting service to administer training to better monitor underage drinking.

In a blog posted April 19, UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer said it is “revolting” to have that many citations at the tavern.

The council also approved a bid related to Menomonie’s Main Street reconstruction between 13th and 17th streets.

Director of public works Randy Eide told the council the city received five bids, with the lowest bid coming in at $440,000 and the high bid at $529,000. The cost for this project was estimated at $560,000.

The city accepted the low bid, which was from Haas Sons.

In other news, the council unanimously approved:

• An offer to buy 4.4 acres at 802 Tainter St. from Haas Son Properties for $280,000. There are no specific plans for the site. Eide said it could become green space or parking.

• An ordinance that allows ATVs access to gas stations and lodging at three locations at the edges of the city limits.

Contact: 715-830-5840,, @BenRueter on Twitter