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BE council searches for savings

By Staff | Mar 15, 2010

Rob Hammond

With a possible cut in state local government aid staring them in the face, the Blue Earth City Council began taking a line-by-line look at the current year’s budget to see where they could trim as much as $235,000.

First on the docket was a look at the public works department, and the city swimming pool.

The council held a special work session last Monday night with the express purpose of seeing if there were items which could be axed.

Since it was a work session, and not a regular meeting, the council only looked at items and made no decisions.

However, the discussion focused on several items in both the public works and pool budgets.

Mentioned as areas for possible cuts were $30,000 for seal coating streets, $70,000 in seasonal street help, $40,000 in street crack fill material, and $25,000 in maintenance and repair.

Pubic Works Director Dick Lamont agreed that the seal coating could wait a year, and they could cut back on repairing streets, saving both manhours and material.

One councilman, however, wondered aloud if that meant some of Blue Earth’s streets could revert to being gravel.

How much property the city pays to have mowed was also discussed. Mayor Rob Hammond commented that the city mows a lot of land, and suggested areas could be cut back. He mentioned Leland Parkway and the Swimming Pool Park lower area.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord suggested there are areas in Steinberg Park which do not need to be mowed.

To read more of this story, see this week’s Register.