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City still looking for cuts

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news Farmington, 55024
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Now the hard part begins.

With an $8.59 million preliminary levy set for 2011, the Farmington City Council must now start to figure out when and how that money will be spent. Or, for that matter, if even more of that money can be trimmed from the upcoming year's city budget.

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Council members approved their preliminary levy during the Sept. 7 regular meeting. The preliminary levy includes $5.98 million in general levy, plus another $2.6 million in debt service levy. Overall, the levy represents an increase of only 3.73 percent -- or $308,000 -- over 2010's levy.

Still, council members want to whittle that down more before the 2011 levy and city budget are approved in December. To do that, council members asked city staff to provide $400,000 in budget cut proposals. The reductions proposed did not include eliminating any positions.

"We provided them with $400,000 in deductions as they required," said city administrator Peter Herlofsky. "We need a couple more meetings to fine tune where those deductions will come."

However, council members also asked that an additional $100,000 in potential budget cuts be identified. Council members suggested eliminating the city's economic development specialist position, management reorganization, furloughs, or changing the hours worked by city employees to 36 hours a week.

Those were some of the items that were supposed to be discussed during a budget workshop this week. However, that workshop had to be cancelled and will be held during the council's Sept. 20 meeting, Herlofsky said.

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