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Mayors: Communities are at stake


Fri, May 7th, 2010
Posted in Government

Devastating, disproportionate and irresponsible. That's how Minnesota city leaders characterized Governor Tim Pawlenty's latest round of proposed cuts to local government aid (LGA). Mayors from across the state met in St. Paul today to reject the governor's recently announced budget plan and called on lawmakers to clean up the state's budget mess before asking cities to do the dirty work.

"Cities have made the tough choices," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. "We have done more with less, found new efficiencies, made painful cuts, and even raised property taxes. It's time for leaders at the Capitol to make some tough decisions and come together to solve the state's long term deficit without shifting the burden to our cities."

"The stakes are high - and the decisions made in this building over the next few weeks will be felt across Minnesota for a generation," Coleman stated.

"We are here today to deliver a message that our cities, big and small, are going to stand and speak with one voice to ensure that we have the resources we need to keep our economy growing, keep our cities safe, and to keep Minnesota strong."

Since 2002, LGA has been reduced by over $1 billion and property taxes have increased over 60 percent statewide. In the last three years, the governor reduced the program by another $200 million via his unallotment power. Combining the governor's 2010 unallotment and latest proposed reduction of at least $87.5 million with a $52.5 million cut passed by the legislature this session, city aids and credits face a 43 percent cut for 2010.

"Our communities can't sustain this magnitude of cut, our communities are at stake" said Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren. "It will simply be devastating to our residents and small businesses. In our city, it's come to the point where police and emergency services are on the chopping block. Communities-especially those in greater Minnesota-are facing a tough road to economic recovery having lost such a significant source of funding."

Governor Pawlenty's plan attempts to close a budget hole of over $400 million that will remain open unless anticipated federal money reaches the state before the legislature adjourns May 17. City officials agreed that it was wise to have a contingency plan in place should these funds be delayed, but stressed that the governor's plan simply shifts the burden of budget-balancing to the local level.

"Tough times require tough choices, .....
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County takes tentative steps toward ARMER

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

Sheriff Daryl Jensen, at the county board's April 27 meeting, discussed where Fillmore County is in the process of inching toward ARMER interoperability. Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) was created by the Minnesota legislature in ..... 
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Bike trail ribbon cutting in Spring Valley

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

There was discussion at the Spring Valley City Council meeting regarding the proposed city campground east of the city. Leonard Leutink presented a preliminary plan to the Council. He explained that there is space for 20 sites, some of those are pul ..... 
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Ostrander discusses "no burn" policy

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

The monthly meeting of the Ostrander City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Deputy Mayor Thompson. Mayor Linda Schwenn and Darrell Berg were absent.

Motion by Christenson, and seconded by Kunert and unanimously carried to accept th ..... 
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Canton approves new gravel

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

Mayor Donivee Johnson called to order the regular city council meeting for April. Others present were: Carl Ernst, Hank Seldon, Ross Duckett, Lolly Melander and Jon Nordsving. Cindy Shanks was absent. Ken Fabian and Barb Kerns were guests.

T ..... 
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Whalan prepares for parade

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

Mayor Larry Johnson called to order the April meeting of the Whalan City Council. Those present were: Johnny Halverson, Margaret Chiglo, Everett Johnson. David Rahn and Lolly Melander. The minutes of the March meeting were approved as read on a moti ..... 
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Chatfield earns favorable AA bond rating

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

A public hearing was held on the intention of the city of Chatfield to issue General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan Bonds and a proposal to adopt the Capital Improvement Plan at the city council's April 26 meeting. City Clerk Joel Young introdu ..... 
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Rushford City Council drafts water offer

Fri, Apr 30th, 2010
Posted in Government

The ongoing topic of a water sale to the City of Rushford Village (CRV) consumed more than an hour of the exceptionally long Monday, April 26th, council meeting. Having received updated findings and a report from project engineer John Stewart, of BD ..... 
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When safety and convenience collide with history

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Commissioners went on their annual road tour on April 20 to view current, upcoming and proposed projects involving mostly roads, bridges and county highway shops. All of the county commissioners, highway engineer John Grindeland, ..... 
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