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Recession increases demand for Social Services


Fri, Feb 6th, 2009
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Social Service Director Thomas Boyd gave some ballooning and troubling statistics of increased demand for services due to the depressed economy at the board's February 3 meeting. Food stamp cases went from 322 in January 2008, to 399 in December 2008, to 431 in January of 2009. That is an increase of 32 in one month. Medical Assistance cases went from 1254 in January of 2008 to 1316 in January of 2009.

Boyd noted Governor Pawlenty's budget proposal released on January 27 calls for a cut of Minnesota Care for 'adults only' which would affect currently 174 people in Fillmore County. Pawlenty wants to cut General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) for adults which would affect 44 in Fillmore County.

Pawlenty wants to change level of income to qualify for family Medical Assistance. He proposes to cut it from 200% of poverty level to 100% of poverty level. Over 80,000 adults and adults with children statewide would lose their eligibility for health coverage over the next two years. Many others would fail to become eligible.

The board approved a regional agreement including eight counties for a Regional Contract Manager for 2009. The eight counties fund the position to keep rates consistent throughout the region. Fillmore County's share is $5,800.

Boyd explained that Fillmore Place has closed as a 12 bed ICF/MR and is being converted to two 4 bed Supported Living Service (SLS) waiver sites. Boyd said that three of the twelve beds were not refilled and that these facilities cannot function financially when all beds are not filled. His department is working with Maple Leaf Services to make the transition.

Merit Plan

Ashley Stinson, Personnel, explained that at the January 13 board meeting a resolution was passed asking the state for more time to get into compliance with the state for pay equity. If the county is not in compliance by February 16, penalties can be assessed against the county. The county's 2008 data gives the county a score of 74.80% and an 80.00% score is needed to be in compliance.

Commissioner Randy Dahl made it clear that the county doesn't discriminate between men and women on pay. Dahl remarked, "One part of the governor's office is demanding that we freeze wages and another part is demanding that we raise them" to get into compliance. Hiring decisions are based on the person most qualified.

Stinson said if the committee's plan were approved then they could resubmit the dat .....
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County amends Computer Replacement Policy

Fri, Jan 30th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Board had a light agenda at their January 27 meeting. In accordance with their ongoing effort to rein in costs where possible an amendment to the computer replacement policy was amended to read "as needed," removing wording for a ..... 
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Rushford hires fundraising firm for library project

Fri, Jan 30th, 2009
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - Minus one-member, the Rushford City Council voted unanimously last Monday, January 26, to enter into a contract with Winona-based consultants, Crescendo-LLP, to "manage and direct" a capital campaign designed to raise $1.2-million for con ..... 
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Preston concerned over expected LGA cuts

Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Government

City Administrator Joe Hoffman updated the city council as to expected Local Government Aid (LGA) cuts from the state at the January 20 meeting. He said that more will be known when the Governor Pawlenty's budget is released on January 27.

H ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council looks at budget scenarios

Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Government

The main issue on the agenda was the budget when the Lanesboro City Council met on January 20. Administrator Bobbie Vickerman came up with some budget scenarios for the council to consider.

According to Vickerman, Governor Pawlenty will pres ..... 
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County Board looking for reform in government

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

Another list of housekeeping items dominated the second county board meeting of the new year on January 13. An informal discussion among the commissioners gave glimpses of possible reforms and planning to further control costs and to better work wit ..... 
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Board of Adjustment approves Flynn variance

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

The Fillmore County Board of Adjustment approved two variances applied for by Steve and Denise Flynn, Carrolton Township, at their January 15 meeting. Last summer the board had denied variance applications from the couple to build a permanent dwelli ..... 
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Vacancies create opportunities for Rushford citizens

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

An unexpected vacancy on the Rushford city council, as well as openings on a number of commissions, make this the perfect time for Rushford citizens to ask what they can do for their city.

Councilwoman Laura Deering announced January 1 that ..... 
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Harmony looks for more budget cuts

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

The City of Harmony received their second LGA (Local Government Aid) payment for 2008 on December 15. They usually receive two payments a year from the state for a total of $375,000. This year, however, with the state looking at adeficit, many citie ..... 
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