City faces additional $275,000 in 2010 budget cuts


“It’s going to hurt this time.”

- Redwood Falls Mayor Gary Revier.


This week, the Redwood Falls City Council learned the Pawlenty administration hopes to cut an additional $274,307 out of the Local Government Aid funds the state promised Redwood Falls for fiscal year 2010.

That’s in additon to the $256,130 in promised funds the state has already cut for 2010.

To put the proposed cuts in perspective. City Councilor John Buckley said the city would have to raise local taxes by 14 percent to compensate for the proposed cuts. 

If the proposed additional cuts are made, that would be $530,437 in LGA funds reneged on by the state this year, leaving just $800,963 from the original amount.

When the first round of cuts was announced last year, the city government managed to find the areas to cut by such means as early retirements, postponing projects, and not replacing staff.

However, with the latest proposed cuts, the city might have to make cuts in more basic services.

City Councilor Mike Salmon said, “We’ve cut all the fat, now we’re going to have to start cutting muscle.”

Bruce Ahgren, mayor of Cloquet, and spokesman for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, said of the proposed cuts, “If this is passed, Minnesotans need to brace for deep reductions in snowplowing and pothole repair, fewer police and firefighters, closed libraries, closed parks, and closed community swimming pools.

“This is a reckless proposal that doesn’t acknowledge the disrepair our state and communities are in, and will drive Minnesota into a deeper recession.”

In other city news, the council:

• Approved a lease amendment for the existing law enforcement center. With the undertainty surrounding a potential Law Enforcement Center construction project on hold, the council thought it prudent to extend the existing lease for one year, at $49,800.

• Approved a $3,302.50 to Fahrner Asphalt Sealers, LLC for the 2009 airport improvement seal coat. The final contract price totals $29,950.

• Appointed Pete U’Ren to his first full term on the Airport Commission.

• Held a public hearing and the first reading of an annexation ordinance for a parcel of land owned by B.J. and Sheila Tersteeg.

• Approved a certificate of support to Services Enterprises, Inc. for their efforts to expand and renovate their main building, located at 515 West Bridge Street. SEI is seeking funding from the USDA?Rural Development Program, which requires SEI to demonstrate significant community support for the project.

• Approved a contract for the rest of this year with the IBEW Local 160 union, representing electric line workers and power plant operators.