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Published January 18, 2011, 09:13 PM

EGF To Lobby For Local Government Aid

Members of the East Grand Forks City Council have decided the best way to be heard is to be seen. Lobbying at the Minnesota capitol is the next step in protecting local government aid.

Members of the East Grand Forks City Council have decided the best way to be heard is to be seen.

Lobbying at the Minnesota capitol is the next step in protecting local government aid.

"You can't throw in the towel," said East Grand Forks City Council member Mike Pokrzywinski.

Even though a new bill brought up in the Minnesota senate is another blow to cities like East Grand Forks that rely on local government aid.

"We've become dependent on it. The dramatic increases in property taxes would make it unaffordable to live here," said Pokrzywinski.

The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Claire Robling, suggests helping Minnesota balance its $6.2 billion deficit by saving the state $1 billion.

If passed, it would cut LGA permanently. To avoid the extra $350 per year for the average homeowner, the city council is heading to St. Paul to lobby.

"Good time time to get face-to-face with our legislature and key leaders in the legislature and our governor. To talk to them about our concerns," said Pokrzywinski.

The Council has already passed a resolution to support keeping LGA.

"It's necessary to maintain the services..all the services to the city. Public safety all the way down to park and recreation. They are all vital to the vitality of the city," said council member Marc DeMers.

"We've already sustained pretty drastic cuts and we can't take anymore," said Pokrzywinski.

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