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NYM City council makes budget cuts across the board

Perham,Minnesota 56573
Perham Focus
NYM City council makes budget cuts across the board
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

Reductions in state aid to cities this year has led New York Mills to cut about $86,000 from the general fund in the 2009 budget.

The city council held a special budget meeting Tuesday and approved cuts in all departments with some wage/benefits expenses transferred out of the general fund to utility funds (water, sewer, gas).

A wage freeze approved in December will save the city a total of about $20,000 in 2009. The police department budget was reduced by $6,600. Those savings will come in deferred capital purchases and reassigned work schedules. No positions will be cut and the department will continue with three full-time officers, as well as part-time hours.

The city will also see a savings of $29,075 by moving a current employee who was splitting hours between City Hall maintenance and public works to full-time in the public works department. A part-time person will be hired to do building maintenance.

Other cuts include closing the airport, which will save $5,000. The city receives about $1,900 in state aid but maintaining the airport costs the city between $7,000 and $9,000 each year. The council decided to implement a monthly franchise fee on electric meters in town. An estimated $9,000 will be generated from the fee and will be dedicated to keeping the community swimming pool open. The fire department will receive $5,000 less in capital contributions, lowering that amount from $15,000 to $10,000.

Changes in health benefits will save the city $3,000. The city plans on billing businesses for snow removal and sidewalk clearing, which could generate up to $7,500.

The public works department will also hold off on come capital purchases for a $22,000 savings in the budget.

New York Mills lost $29,000 in Local Government Aid in December and will lose about $35,000 this year, from what was originally expected in LGA.