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Faribault City Council member Steve Underdahl, left, and City Administrator Tim Madigan discuss potential budget cuts as they meet Jan. 18 at Faribault City Hall.Underdahl said Faribault city officials have already delayed repair projects, cut 3 percent of city expenditures, left about a dozen positions unfilled and drawn down reserves due to budget cuts. They also raised the city's property tax levy by 6 percent for 2010. (AP Photo/Robb Long)

Mid-sized cities holding off worst cuts as aid drops

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FARIBAULT -- The little things went first: a few children's library programs and ice for the outdoor skating rinks. But police officers and firefighters kept their jobs and plows still cleared Faribault's snowy streets.

Approaches like that illustrate why Minnesota lawmakers face a public-relations challenge as they fight another round of cuts proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

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