Governor Pawlenty’s cut to local government aid in Mankato means that the city’s services will be reduced by over $2 million. According to the city’s website,
“Every effort is being made to preserve core city service,” said Patrick Hentges, City Manager. Police, fire, and streets are prime examples of city core services. However, the city has services such as parks, airport, transit and civic center that contribute to the area’s quality of life, provide amenities people have come to enjoy and support the economic vitality of the city and region. Non-tax supported services like water, sewer, refuse and storm water will also face challenges. Due to the economic climate it may be difficult to raise utility rates and that presents major challenges with rising energy costs and unfunded state mandates.
The city expects to cut down the workforce by 15-20 positions, which it says will have an effect on the quality of services provided.
This will have an effect on the quality and responsiveness of core services including slower responses to non-emergency police and fire calls, less mowing in parks, less support to outside agencies (like rural rescue and ambulance support), and less frequency of snow and ice removal… Cuts under consideration include school police liaisons, crossing guards, library, support to non-profits, arts and social services, seniors and nature center programming. Also, we can expect reduction in citizen education programs, fire-crime prevention programs, neighborhood crime prevention, pool hours and efforts to keeping the community aesthetically-maintained.
The Governor’s cuts have forced cities to make dramatic cuts to city services, as we have seen all along the Thrive Drive. While core services in Mankato are being protected from cuts, they will still be affected by slower response times, less support, and perhaps less funding. Meanwhile, “non-essential” services like snow removal, social services, libraries, and parks have been victims of the budget cuts. Governor Pawlenty and his allies have forced cities to choose between services because of reckless budget cuts. This is not a way for Minnesota to thrive, something we are focused on making happen. Learn more about how budget cuts are affecting communities all over the state at defendminnesota.com.