Minneapolis triggers $23 million in cuts to deal with lost state aid

The compromise budget between Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-leg Legislature means Minneapolis will have its Local Government Aid funding cut by $23 million in each 2011 and 2012.

The city announced today it is enacting $23 million in cuts to make up for the funding shortfall.

Most notably, the city will cut $6.2 million from its street paving program — a 50 percent cut to the paving budget; $1.35 million from the Police Department; $1.45 million from the Fire Department; and the city will delay $7.1 million to pay down debt on pensions.

The funding cuts were agreed upon by the City Council in December, when members did not yet know how much the city would be getting in LGA but anticipated a cut of some magnitude. The city was certified to receive $87 million but got only $64 million.

Assistant Fire Chief Cherie Penn said she did not immediately know how cuts to the Fire Department would be dealt with. In the resolution passed by the City Council in December, the additional funding was noted to reduce Fire Department layoffs by 10 firefighters.

The city has already eliminated 80 city positions in 2011.


“We are cutting much-needed street paving despite this year’s record numbers of potholes,” Mayor R.T. Rybak said in a press release. “We are slowing our debt repayment despite the fact that doing so has helped restore Minneapolis’ AAA bond rating and save taxpayers money. And we are cutting positions from Police and Fire despite achieving record-low levels of crime this year.”