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Budget concerns reign over Preston agenda


Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Government

City Administrator Joe Hoffman admitted the necessary reductions in the 2010 budget were overshadowing every item in the Preston City Council's March 15 agenda. He suggested the recently announced lower state deficit, which could reduce additional cuts in Local Government Aid (LGA), will help only in a marginal way. Due to a slight up tick in the economy, the expected state deficit for 2010 has been reduced from $1.2 billion to just under $1 billion. Hoffman called attention to another factor, the lawsuit being considered by the Minnesota Supreme Court over the governor's use of his unallotment authority. Regardless of the high court's decision the state deficit will remain. The legislature may need to reluctantly approve what the governor did late last spring retroactively, if the court finds in favor of the people who brought the lawsuit.

Councilman Robert Sauer said the city has to plan for the worst and that the city's departments should assume that the proposed cuts to the current budget will be made.

Streetlight Fee

In an effort to find $100,000 in city expense reductions, the city has discussed, along with the cuts, the institution of a new fee to produce revenue to, in part, offset some of the loss of LGA. Mayor Kurt Reicks opined the governor hasn't proposed any new tax, so someone has to. Sauer added it is better to look at both options the city has to make up the loss of aid, including expense cutting and tax increases. They agreed the state continues to shift the burden to the local governments and the added fee or tax on utility bills is the only immediate source of revenue the city has access to.

Hoffman pointed to Caledonia's adoption of a street light fee which charges more to commercial users than residential. He suggested the city charge about $2.35 per month across the board to all users or $2 per month for residential and $4 per month for commercial/industrial. The city is looking to pay the $23,000 per year it spends to operate the street lights with the fee.

Sharon Dexter, who lives on Chatfield Avenue, said the fee is another tax. She explained that she drove around town and noted the greater number of street lights on Chatfield Avenue and asked if some could be eliminated. Hoffman said the only efficient way to eliminate some is to make them inoperable by removing the bulb. It would take a long time to recoup the cost by respacing them. Recent placing of street lights have been laid out by e .....
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Chatfield reviews 2010 budget

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Government

At a special city council meeting on March 16, the Chatfield City Council reviewed their 2010 budget to consider options on how to deal with the expected additional cut in Local Government Aid (LGA) of $153,000. City Clerk Joel Young said the notice ..... 
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Wilson aiming for seat in U.S. Congress

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Government

On March 2, 2010, the Fillmore County Journal conducted an exclusive interview with Steven Wilson, a self-described "conservative independent."

Residing in Rochester, Minn., Steven Wilson is running under the Independence Party for U.S. Cong ..... 
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Jennifer Gumbel enters political arena

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

When Jennifer Gumbel and her husband, Axel, left the Twin Cities a few years ago, it was with the intention of returning one day to make their permanent home there. Not anymore. "We are both very comfortable with rural living, especially after movin ..... 
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City of Peterson increases electric rates

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

The regular meeting of the Peterson City Council met on March 2 and was called to order by Chuck Eidenschink. In addition to Chuck, those present were Tim Hallum, Bill Grindland, Randy Benson, Rick Lee and Lolly Melander. Jan Smaby was absent.
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Illg speculates on Palwenty's proposed LGA cuts

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

The Harmony City Council discussed the budget and the cuts that are coming from the state during their March 9 meeting. City Administrator Jerome Illg said the Governor's proposal has a cut of $80,408 from Harmony's LGA (Local Government Aid) for 20 ..... 
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Canton continues wastewater treatment talks

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

The regular meeting of the Canton City Council met on March 3. Mayor Johnson called the meeting to order. Those present were: Donivee Johnson, Cindy Shanks, Carl Ernst, Ross Duckett, Lolly Melander and Jon Nordsving. Hank Selden was absent.

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Pilot Mound Township residents exercise right to vote

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

On the foggy evening of Tuesday, March 9, hundreds of individuals residing in area townships collectively cast their votes for positions of supervisor and clerk for their respective board of directors.

In what could quite possibly be a recor ..... 
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Lanesboro discusses public utility increases

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Government

Mike Bubany of David Drown and Associates visited the Lanesboro City Council during their joint meeting with the Public Utilities Commission on March 8. Bubany had his spreadsheets ready for the city's budget, and discussed the plans for Capital Out ..... 
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