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Granite Falls City Council considering freezing pay for one year

GRANITE FALLS -- A wage freeze, reductions in capital expenditures and cuts to services such as spraying for mosquitoes are among the options being considered to trim costs by the city of Granite Falls.

City Council members discussed these and other options at the meeting Monday as part of an effort to develop a 2010 budget based on expectations of reduced Local Government Aid payments, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

He said no decisions were made on cuts at this time. He said the city recently sent a letter to all employees represented by bargaining units asking to reopen contracts and consider a one-year pay freeze.

Council members are looking at a preliminary levy for the 2010 general fund of $129,706, which would represent a 19.4 percent increase. When the city's debt service levy is included, the total levy could rise by 10.38 percent.

In other business, council members discussed flood mitigation projects now under way to improve the levee behind the baseball field and public works building and construct a pumping station under the downtown Lende Plaza.

Council members discussed work to build a block retaining wall to improve the levee behind Richter Field. The limited space between the field and Minnesota River will require moving the outfield fence. The Baseball Association is asking for a taller fence to hide the wall, but flood mitigation monies for the project will cover only the costs of moving the existing fence.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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