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Officials talk of state and local partnership


Fri, Jan 2nd, 2009
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Partnership, opportunities, and reform were some of the common themes banded about during a two hour meeting between the Fillmore County Board and area legislators on Tuesday, December 30, in Preston.

With a projected $4.6 billion state deficit as a backdrop, Senator Sharon Erickson Ropes, Senator Dan Sparks and Representative-elect Greg Davids down played the idea of any increases in state funding for programs and concentrated more on how they could make things easier for county government. Rep. Jeanne Poppe was unable to attend the meeting due to an illness in the family. The 2009 Minnesota Legislature re-convenes in St. Paul on Tuesday, January 6.

Commissioners and county department heads, for their part, emphasized the need to streamline rules and regulations and the need to avoid shifts, where programs are transferred from state to county government. And they came to the meeting with a long list of ideas on what legislators can be doing to help country government deliver services.

Law Enforcement

• Sheriff Daryl Jensen is a strong advocate for Sentence to Serve, a program that allows offenders to work off their court ordered fines. Jensen emphasized that much of the work assists the DNR through trails, fisheries, forestry and parks. He says they were critical in helping during the flooding of 2007.

Jensen noted that funding was cut in 2007 but the county was able to find alternative funds to match the county's $37,000. Fillmore County is one of five counties out of 87 whose funding was sunsetted. Consequently, the program must seek funding renewal every two years.

• In addition, Jensen told legislators that the state's radio communication radio program in Fillmore County will probably require more infrastructure due to the terrain. Jensen said that a fully operable system may need more than four towers and additional state funding.

Social Services

Social Services Director Tom Boyd said that delivery of services is a partnership between the county and state and called for streamlining rules and regulations. He also warned about cost shifts in programs.

• The state requires that the county pay a portion of the cost for clients under the age of 65 in nursing homes and clients in group homes. Boyd calls this a direct property tax cost and county residents should be told that from the state. The cost to Fillmore County in 2007 was $84,393.

• Gail Bunge .....
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County implements plan to deal with cuts instate aid

Fri, Dec 26th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Department heads were in attendance at the December 23 county board meeting with budget cuts totaling $545,102. The Local Government Aid (LGA) payment the county receives on December 26 will be $143,805 less than originally expected.
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Rushford council considers impact of aid cuts

Fri, Dec 26th, 2008
Posted in Government

Bitter gusts and subzero temperatures swirled outside the Rushford city hall Monday, December 22. But there were ill winds blowing inside the council chambers as well while those present absorbed the gloomy financial forecast.

Rumors had cir ..... 
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Lanesboro officials concerned over possible cut in LGA

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Government

Lanesboro city council members voiced their concern over the possibility of the city losing part of their anticipated government aid payment of $121,517 scheduled for December 26. (See chart detailing possible cuts in LGA and MVHC to local communiti ..... 
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Preston anticipates reduced aid

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Government

Preston, like cities and counties across the state, is bracing for bad news come December 26 when a second payment of Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state is due. Representative-elect Greg Davids was on hand to discuss the state's revenue short ..... 
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Recognition for Fillmore County's Brown

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Government

Some positive news for the county was announced at the county board meeting on December 16. At the recent meeting of the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), Fillmore County was recognized with two awards and the election of Commissioner Duane B ..... 
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Ropes tells Harmony council "tough times ahead"

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Government

HARMONY - Senator Sharon Ropes visited the Harmony City Council on December 9th to discuss the state's budget and the economic situation. She was there to answer questions and hear from the council about the challenges that Harmony is facing. Ropes ..... 
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Spring Valley Council adjusts loan payback

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Government

High on the agenda of the December 8 Spring Valley City Council was the consideration of a proposal by Jeff Allman, President of the River Valley Partners, LLC currently operating the Commercial House Apartments. In a letter to the council, Allman r ..... 
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Rushford Council looks at tax swings

Fri, Dec 12th, 2008
Posted in Government

Taxes in Rushford have become akin to the weather: if you don't like them, stick around and they'll change. Sometimes wildly.

"Until we get things back to normal, it's going to take a few years" of some crazy swings, city administrator Windy ..... 
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