What does Minnesota’s anticipated $1.2 billion deficit and no hope for a special session mean for Minnesotans as the first real snow begins to fall? In the summer it meant fewer lifeguards on duty and cuts to parks and public works budgets. This winter you might notice that the streets are snowier on your way to and from work. Mayors across the state are holding their breath, waiting to see if Tim Pawlenty will cut even more local government aid this month. Politics in Minnesota reports that Mayors Chris Coleman and Wayne Wolden asked the Governor to call a special session to avoid such cuts:
“Minnesota cities are so close to the financial edge that any reduction in the December [local government aid] funding will spell disaster in the form of closed libraries, deeper cuts to police and fire protection and a sharp reduction in critical services, like winter snowplowing,” today’s joint statement from Coleman and Wadena Mayor Wayne Wolden, a spokesman for the coalition, said.
The Governor’s office said no, and Minnesota’s cities are getting worried. If Pawlenty plans to unallot more LGA this month, Rochester will have no choice but to take the money out of its reserve funds, according to the Post-Bulletin. The St. Cloud Times reports that Sartell would have to postpone road repairs and maintenance to cope with the loss of funds.
How will LGA reductions will impact snow removal this winter? According to Kare 11, Mankato is dealing with a ten percent cut in the snow removal budget because of state aid cuts. Anyone who has driven through Minnesota in the winter knows how dangerous the roads can get when it’s snowing heavily. This winter, we might have to be extra cautious and hope that there isn’t a drastic increase in accidents with more snow on the roads.
Photo Credit: *clairity*