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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 shortfall at the city council's December 17 meeting.

Davids explained that the last time a huge deficit faced Minnesota in 2003, there was money from the Tobacco Settlement to help with the shortfall. The state expects a $426 million dollar shortfall for the budget period ending June 2009. It is also estimating a $4.8 billion dollar deficit for the next two year period ending in 2011. Mr. Davids, claiming he is an optimist, suggests that this forecast is overly optimistic as it fails to account for inflation and probably over estimates revenue from capital gains.

Davids maintained that when "LGA is cut it is in affect a tax increase." He says the LGA payments are a "big bucket" of money. Davids is concerned about decisions made by the legislative leadership and the governor without the full legislature.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman said that he is optimistic. He said the city is expecting a payment of approximately $270,000 on the 26th, which will reimburse money the city has already spent in the last six months. He explained that the League of Minnesota Cities estimates the loss for Preston could be as little as $13,000 to as much as $70,000 with this second payment. The most pessimistic possibility is that the payment would be entirely eliminated. Hoffman said some of the immediate loss would be made up by reserves. He stresses that with the expected long term cuts to the LGA, the state cannot be imposing levy limits on cities the size of Preston.

Hoffman said that longer term LGA cuts will result in cuts in capital projects to start with. He asked council members to contact legislators. He was concerned about state mandates for renewable energy. Hoffman warned that they will affect the consumer's utility bill.

Davids agreed that the state will need to back off the levy limits if the LGA is cut in the next two year budget period. He said that the state budget could be balanced with a straight 13% cut across the board. However, this would not work as bond payments due cannot be cut and other areas including education and nursing homes may not be able to sustain themselves. Davids left saying "we're all in this together and we have to make it work."

Garbage Ordinance .....
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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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City of Preston applies for Small Cities Rehabilitation Grant

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Government

Preston EDA Director Cathy Enerson representing Southeast Minnesota Development Corporation (SEMDC) gave a presentation on the rehab grant at the city council's December 2 meeting. City Administrator Joe Hoffman reported that the city has been invit ..... 
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Lanesboro council approves 2009 budget

Fri, Dec 5th, 2008
Posted in Government

Members of the Lanesboro City Council approved the budget and levy for 2009 during their meeting on December 1. During the Public Hearing held before the regular meeting, there were no residents present with questions or concerns about the budget. T ..... 
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Rushford Council approves a slew of recommendations

Fri, Nov 28th, 2008
Posted in Government

RUSHFORD - The Rushford city council heard a slew of recommendations from two of its commissions last Monday and approved all of them.

From the Planning Commission was what administrator Windy Block's newsletter referred to as one of those " ..... 
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