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Preston targets budget reductions


Fri, Mar 5th, 2010
Posted in Government

At the Preston City Council's March 1 meeting the council tried to pencil in a workable solution to the expected additional reduction of nearly $100,000 in Local Government Aid (LGA) per Governor Tim Pawlenty's budget proposal. City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted there were rumblings that the state's expected $1.2 billion deficit may be reduced in an announcement on Tuesday. On Tuesday it was reduced about $200 million to $994 million.

Councilmen David Harrison and Robert Sauer, along with Hoffman, drafted a list of possible cuts and sources of revenue for the city. Hoffman remarked they discovered very soon that areas of discretionary spending are drying up. The largest area of discretionary spending the city has is for street improvements.

Street Improvements

Brett Grabau, Bonestroo and Associates, reported to the council on the proposed street improvements for 2010, including portions of River Street and Jefferson Street. He said that the work on Jefferson Street was made an alternate due to budget restraints. River Street needs to be done this year to use FEMA money for a portion of the cost. Hoffman said to cash flow both projects it may be necessary to borrow from next year's money. He said this would be a concern because future cuts of LGA can not be predicted.

The council approved the plans and specifications and gave the go ahead to advertise for bids. Grabau said if the money isn't there for Jefferson Street, the plans can be shelved for a few years.

Utility Fee

One possibility to increase revenue is to charge a $3 per month fee on each utility bill to cover the city's $23,000 expense for street lights. Mayor Kurt Reicks said at first he was against this idea, but realized it will total only $36 per year per household. Hoffman said a number of cities have established a street light fee. He agreed it is a tax saying he doesn't buy the notion that a fee is not a tax. Hoffman said it is necessary to look for long-term cuts as he doesn't expect a return of LGA to previous levels. Reicks commented that reductions in LGA are an even greater problem when they come after the budget is set.

Hoffman will put together a proposal for a street light fee for the council to consider at their next meeting. Preston has had their LGA cut about $175 over a couple of years.

Fireworks

The committee had suggested cutting all of the $4,500 for the fireworks show. Heath Mensink said he would need .....
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Thompson will be acting mayor of Ostrander while Schwenn is absent

Fri, Mar 5th, 2010
Posted in Government

The February monthly meeting of the Ostrander City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Schwenn. Pam Kunert and Frances Ruehmann were absent.

Motion by Christenson, and seconded by Thompson and unanimously carried to accept the ..... 
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Lanesboro talks about getting a grocery store

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Government

Several people gathered at the recent Lanesboro City Council meeting to talk about the possibility of getting a grocery store up and running in town. Six community members have formed the Lanesboro Grocery, LLC (Limited Liability Company), to suppor ..... 
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Minnesota counties propose initiatives for redesign

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Government

At the Fillmore County Board meeting on February 23 Chairman Duane Bakke detailed ten proposals for restructure of government within the state. The proposals put some meat or substance into the rhetoric of redesign. The ten proposals were drawn up b ..... 
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Spring Valley predicts more cuts

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Government

"There are some areas in the City that we will need to cut back on part-time help."

These predictions came from Mayor Struzyk at the council meeting on Monday night. He continued to say that the state is once again saying there will be addit ..... 
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Potter clears one more hurdle

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Government

City Clerk Joel Young reported at the February 22 Chatfield City Council meeting that over $5 million of state bonding money tagged for the Potter Center for the Arts made its way through the conference committee. Young was in St. Paul through some ..... 
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Rushford looks to the future

Fri, Feb 26th, 2010
Posted in Government

At the Monday, February 22, meeting, the council approved the submittal plans and specifications to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the upgrading of the city's waste water treatment plant. While this does not obligate the city to proceed ..... 
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Politics abound in Pilot Mound

Fri, Feb 19th, 2010
Posted in Government

As an audience gathers every month in the quiet little community of Pilot Mound, there's a good chance that someone is a going to stir the pot at the township board meeting.

On Tuesday, February 9, the drama continued with a slightly smaller ..... 
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Update on Canton wastewater treatment plant

Fri, Feb 19th, 2010
Posted in Government

Mayor Donivee Johnson called the regular February meeting of the Canton City Council to order. Those present were: Cindy Shanks, Carl Ernst, Ross Duckett, Jon Nordsving and Lolly Melander. Hank Selden was absent. Visitors present were Barb K, and Ja ..... 
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