City leaders gathering in Austin this week

Published 10:25 am Monday, July 18, 2016

Regional leaders will converge in Austin this week.

Austin will host the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) Summer Conference Wednesday and Thursday at the Holiday Inn Austin Conference Center with Friday sessions at The Hormel Institute.

Though the sessions are not open to the public, Austin City Administrator Craig Clark described the conference as a good chance to showcase Austin and the many recent community projects, as several city tours are planned.

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“The big thing is to be able to welcome mayors and council members and staff from all across the state to Austin,” Clark said.

Clark also said it will be a good chance to talk about the 2016 Minnesota Legislative Session, which ended without a bonding bill or tax bill, and Clark expects talk on the potential upcoming special session and the 2017 session.

On Wednesday, CGMC lobbyist Bradley Peterson will talk about what happened to derail the state’s bonding bill earlier this year. That will be followed by city tours, a city-sponsored tour of the Spam Museum, dinner at the Austin Area Commission for the Arts and an option to attend Krar Collective’s concert at the Historic Paramount Theatre.

Thursday will be a busy day at the conference, as city leaders will talk about environmental issues in the morning before panels on looking ahead to 2017, reducing disparities in Greater Minnesota, and on transportation funding barriers and solutions.

Friday business will shift to The Hormel Institute, where folks will tour the cancer-fighting facility and discuss labor and employee relations.

Austin last hosted the CGMC conference in 2000.