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BE cut $235K, not $46K

By Staff | Feb 21, 2010

Kathy Bailey

The cuts to the local government aid (LGA) to the City of Blue Earth may be five times larger than was first reported at last Monday night’s City Council meeting.

City Administrator Kathy Bailey told the council the information she had received seemed to indicate the governor’s proposed cuts to LGA would mean a reduction of $46,403 to the city.

The next day, Bailey learned the cuts may be as much as $235,603. That number would be on top of the $189,200 the council already had to trim from its 2010 budget.

“The (proposed cuts) chart is difficult to follow,” Bailey says. “I may have mis-read it. But it indicates we will be cut 8.16 percent of our LGA, and that doesn’t work out using the larger number.”

The city was originally slated to receive $1.725 million in LGA from the state. Now, that number could be reduced to $1.3 million – or a 27 percent reduction.

That means the city will now have a total of $425,803 fewer dollars to work with this year.

“This latest number ($235,603) is just what is proposed,” Bailey says. “I don’t know what will happen if it is thefinal number.”

Bailey says the city will have to prepare now, even though the cut might not happen until later in the year.

Bailey had more bad financial news for the council at Monday’s meeting. They may have to spend some more money despite also having to slash the budget.

She reported that the boiler in the City Hall needs several repairs, and it might need to be replaced with a forced air furnace.

“We have had some repairs made and will limp through the rest of the winter,” she says. “Then we will look at it this summer, to see what needs to be done.”

She also reported that the Senior Citizen Center roof is leaking, and will need repair.

“It was replaced in 1988 and cost $25,000 at that time,” she says. “We have had snow removed from the roof, but have been unable to find the leak or repair it.”

Bailey also mentioned the cost of snow removal in the city is ‘piling up.’ She did not have total numbers yet, as the bills are just coming in for January.

“But we also have to remember that this 2010 budget also includes snow removal for this coming October, November and December,” she says. “So we hope to not use it all up now.”