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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.

Governor Pawlenty announced on Friday, December 19, that a total of $110 million will be cut from second half LGA payments to counties and cities across the state. Pawlenty's cuts, in response to the 2009 Minnesota deficit of $426 million, are in the areas of LGA, human services and higher education.

In preparation for anticipated LGA cuts for the coming biennium (2110-11), during which a state shortfall of $4.8 billion has been forecasted, the county board has implemented cuts totalling $545,102. In the county's 2009 budget, $1,081,483 of County Program Aid was expected in revenue. A committee consisting of Commissioners Duane Bakke and Chuck Amunrud, and County Coordinator Karen Brown met with department heads on December 19 and 22 to come up with a plan that begins to deal with the substantial cuts expected from the state.

Departments will be making staffing changes, delay purchases, forego training and seminars, and more. Overtime for employees will be discouraged. All non-contract employees with the exception of law enforcement will take four or more days of unpaid leave before April 30, 2009. Bakke noted that after the legislative session, the days of unpaid leave could be increased if necessary. It was also proposed that Highway contract employees be offered the same unpaid leave requirements. The committee is also offering on a voluntary basis to full time employees a reduced work schedule or .9 employment or a 36 hour week. These employees would remain .9 for one year and be exempt from the unpaid leave requirement. The committee also proposed that an additional $50,000 could be used from reserves if needed.

Sheriff Daryl Jensen stated that he would be willing to let a couple people on his staff go to .9 and assured the commissioners that it would not affect public safety.

Appropriations will be frozen at 2008 levels to area agencies like the Ag Society, Tourism, SELCO and SEMCAC saving $8,000.

The above committee recommendations were approved by the board for implementation by the department heads. Amunrud thanked the department heads for their cooperation. Bakke warned that there could be a bigger cut from the state than anticipated and advised that efforts .....
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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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County Board approves Harmony quarry

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Zoning Administrator Christopher Graves addressed the commissioners for the first time at their December 2 meeting. Chairman Randy Dahl welcomed County Attorney Brett Corson back from his year of service in Iraq.

The board conside ..... 
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