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Ropes speaks and listens in Chatfield


Fri, Jun 26th, 2009
Posted in Government

State Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes-DFL continued a trip around her district addressing the Chatfield City Council at their June 22 meeting. She stressed that we all need to get through this together in part by keeping in touch as much as possible.

City Clerk Joel Young explained the 2009 unallotment reduced their Local Government Aid (LGA) by $55,000 and he is expecting an additional $85,000 cut in LGA for 2010 bringing the total loss of revenue for the city to $140,000 for 2010. About $90,000 will be made up with bond refinancing and cutting some seasonal staff. The city needs to find additional reductions of about $50,000.

Ropes said she recognized how lean the city is running. She went on to explain that the state legislature had agreed with the governor on how to reduce the $6.4 billion deficit by $4 billion. The remaining $2 billion was the problem with the legislature voting to raise taxes on people with top level incomes by 3% and the addition of a liquor tax. She said two-thirds of the extra revenue would have come from multimillionaires out of their personal income. The liquor tax would have amounted to 2 cents on a beer and 3 cents on a mixed drink.

Governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed the bill and has chosen to decide on how to balance the last $2 billion himself. Ropes said this is the first time in the state's history that a governor has used the unallotment authority to set the budget. She commented the unallotment process used by the governor last December to cover a shortfall was the proper use of the authority. Ropes added that there are rumors of some organizations considering filing suit insisting the unallotment process he is pursuing is unconstitutional.

Ropes asked about the Potter Auditorium. She specified there are funds available because of the constitutional amendment passed in last November's election for the arts. Young said the school district can't afford to pay for a building standing vacant, but the heritage of those buildings is being explored.

Councilor Ken Jacobson asked about next year. Ropes indicated even if the economy picked up powerfully, there is likely to be at least eighteen to twenty-four months before local communities will feel the benefit. Therefore, they will be looking at cuts for the next two years. She wants everyone to look at this realistically so they aren't caught unaware. She added this $6.4 billion deficit is the largest financial crisis the state has ever been face .....
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Grant approved for Preston, Chatfield and Ostrander

Fri, Jun 19th, 2009
Posted in Government

City Administrator Joe Hoffman informed the Preston City Council at their June 10 meeting that the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant was approved in the amount of $474,200. He reminded them that the state/federal grant was applied for la ..... 
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County signaling level budget for 2010

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

County Coordinator Karen Brown asked the board's direction to department heads in planning the 2010 budget at the June 9 meeting. She wanted to be able to give department heads notice as to limits on salary and wage increases. Brown warned that a po ..... 
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Spring Valley budget cuts?

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

"The General Fund is the only place left to cut." This statement came from City Administrator Deb Zimmer at the Spring Valley City Council meeting on Monday night, June 8th. Zimmer walked the Council and the public through the Final Budgeted Expendi ..... 
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Harmony City Council speaks with Ropes

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Harmony City Council was able to speak to Senator Sharon Ropes during their regular meeting on June 9. They asked questions and got some information about the state's budget and the status of the city's LGA (Local Government Aid).

Ropes ..... 
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Rushford City Council receives levee recertification update

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

In a lengthy, occasionally vague presentation, the council heard an initial report by URS Corporation and American Engineering Testing at the Monday, June 8th meeting. The presentation detailed the current analysis of the flood protection system, as ..... 
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Chatfield, Preston and Ostrander receive grants

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

Southeastern Minnesota Develpment Corporation (SEMDC), in partnership with Semcac awarded a $474,200 in Small Cities Development Program Grant. The grant will assist the following communities: Ostrander, Preston, and Chatfield to help pay for improv ..... 
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Cash for Clunkers passes House

Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in Government

(Washington, DC) - Last week, Congressman Tim Walz voted to create jobs, revitalize the economy, and help reduce harmful carbon emissions from vehicles.

H.R. 2751, the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009, also known as "Cash ..... 
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Fillmore-Houston boards approve grant agreement

Fri, Jun 5th, 2009
Posted in Government



The June 2 meeting of the Fillmore County Board included a teleconference for the Fillmore-Houston Joint Board of Health. A resolution was once again passed for 2009-2010 to enter into a grant agreement for Toward Zero Deaths Safe Roads Gran ..... 
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