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Ropes has dialogue with county board


Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

State Senator Sharon Ropes reviewed details of the last legislative session and took notes on commissioner concerns to be explored in the next session at their August 11 meeting. Ropes continues to make an effort to visit cities, townships and counties in her district.

In a statement about the last session, she explained the state was not in deficit, but it was projected there would be a $6.4 billion deficit in the coming biennium. Governor Tim Pawlenty and the legislature agreed on how to reduce the budget by about $4 billion by streamlining and actual cuts. With the final bill, which was vetoed by the governor, there was no agreement as the DFL-led legislature wanted a progressive tax schedule to make up the remaining $2 billion or so. Ropes said the 3% of taxpayers with a personal income of $300,000 would have had a tax increase of $106 per year. She stressed this was not on business income, but personal income. They had also passed an increased tax of 2 cents on each beer or wine drink and 3 cents on a mixed drink. The governor vetoed the bill because of the tax increases and opted for use of the unallotment authority.

Ropes said the recession has slowed considerably, but there will still be more projected deficits. She acknowledged, "Whatever we do at the state lands in your lap." She criticized the governor for the $1.8 billion shift of school payments into the next year. Ropes insisted that with no revenue to fill the hole, the shift just creates a $1.8 billion deficit in the coming year. She described the shift as a financial gimmick to make the columns add up in the budget. It is a promise to pay the schools in the next year except there is "no money in the bank." She expects at least another two years of budgeting difficulties.

More accurate forecast figures to base the next budget on will be available in November and February.

Chairman Chuck Amunrud noted the county intends to have a basically flat levy. He asked her if current levy limits imposed by the state will still be in place after the governor leaves office. Amunrud questioned whether revenue from the planned wind farms in Fillmore County will be figured into the local levy limits. She said maybe wind production revenue could be taken out of the Local Government Aid (LGA) formula.

Ropes did say the levy limits were part of the governor's initiative in 2008. He wanted them to be more restrictive and permanent. The legislature got him to compromise .....
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Rushford City Council "takes a stab" at a community center

Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

At the Monday, August 10th meeting of the council, the city made the decision to move forward with plans to seek out proposals on the construction of a 400-seat community center. On a limited budget, the city is offering grant funds of $593,000 for ..... 
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No eminent domain proceedings for Burr Oak extension

Fri, Aug 14th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Chatfield City Council took the possibility of eminent domain off the table as a method to acquire property needed for the Burr Oak extension at the council's August 10 meeting. City Attorney Fred Suhler had followed the council's July 23 instru ..... 
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Lanesboro discusses signs

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

During a quick meeting on August 3, the Lanesboro City Council had some discussion with City Attorney Tom Manion about signs in the downtown area. At the last meeting, Manion explained that Cheryl Lamon, who owns Cheryl's Apparel, had asked him if s ..... 
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Elected county officials donate unpaid leave

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Elected official voluntary salary reductions were approved by the county board at their August 4 meeting, which was dominated by departmental budget proposals for 2010. With last December's unallotment total of $143,805, the board required employees ..... 
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Rushford Village Council meets

Fri, Aug 7th, 2009
Posted in Government

Pledge to Flag

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. on July 7, 2009, by Acting Mayor Dale Schwanke. Council members present: Dennis Overland, Roger Ekern, and Liz Atkinson. Also present: City Attorney Thomas Manion, Zoning Administra ..... 
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Dangerous trek for bicyclists near Eagle Cliff

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Horace and Sally Stang, residents at Eagle Cliff Campground, made their concerns known during the county board's July 28 meeting. Mr. Stang said the half-mile section along State Highway 16 from the campground property to the Whalan Bridge is very d ..... 
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Senator Erickson-Ropes addresses the Rushford City Council

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

The theme could have easily been summed up, "Let's go through this together," with Senator Sharon Erickson-Ropes addressing the council at the Monday, July 27th, meeting. While it's an appreciated goal, and certainly one the city is intent on foster ..... 
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Chatfield City Clerk Joel Young to serve on local government aid study group

Fri, Jul 31st, 2009
Posted in Government

Mayor Les Knutson announced the appointment to the LGA group and congratulated Mr. Young at the city council's July 27 meeting. The formation of the Local Government Aid (LGA) Study Group was authorized by the 2008 Tax Bill, 3149. State Senate Tax C ..... 
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