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City still looking for cuts

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.

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.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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