City Council to talk LGA, greater Minnesota at annual legislators meetingPublished 10:45am Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Austin City Council will meet with local legislators at 9 a.m. Friday to learn more about Local Government Aid changes and discuss greater Minnesota issues, among other things.
The council’s annual meeting with Rep. Jeanne Poppe and Sen. Dan Sparks, both DFL-Austin, comes after a work session last week when council members wanted to hear more about the recent LGA proposal before the state Legislature.
The proposal simplifies the LGA formula while still keeping older city housing stock in mind. It would also take inflation into account.
Many local government officials across the state were concerned with the first LGA proposal Gov. Mark Dayton introduced earlier this year, which would temporarily boost LGA funding for a short time before decreasing aid to cities like Austin. Under the new proposal, Austin would receive steadily increasing funding over a period of years. The new proposal still calls for an extra $80 million set aside for LGA.
Mayor Tom Stiehm said legislators have done a good job keeping the city’s interests at heart when discussing LGA.
“Our legislators have pretty much been on the same page with us on LGA,” he said.
The council will also discuss greater Minnesota issues, such as business development, new employees job training and internship programs.
City Administrator Jim Hurm said those issues come at the behest of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, and Poppe and Sparks serve on committees best suited to address those questions.