New website gives you a chance to weigh in on the 2009 budget
As the City of Minneapolis works to revise its 2009 budget, the City has launched a website where residents, businesses and employees can learn more about how the City's budget works and also share their ideas for saving money and streamlining services. The new Web page can be found at 2009 Budget.
Mayor R.T. Rybak is preparing a new 2009 City budget, which will be reviewed by the City Council, following Governor Tim Pawlenty’s action that cut $13.1 million to Minneapolis in late December. The cut has left City officials no choice but to revamp the City's 2009 budget by making significant cuts, with an eye toward the longer-term possibility of even more significant cuts from the State. The magnitude of the needed cuts means changes or reductions to some City services are unavoidable. Minneapolis already receives $36 million less in State aid than it did five years ago.
The 2009 Budget website is designed to help people access information related to the 2009 budget and to give them an opportunity to share their priorities when it comes to services they receive from the City. Features of the site include:
- An online survey where people can prioritize the City services they receive and offer suggestions on how they’d cut costs and streamline services.
- Information on how Minneapolis’ budget works, including a frequently asked questions sheet on the 2009 budget and the "Top 10 things to know about Minneapolis’ budget."
- Details on two community meetings hosted by Mayor Rybak where residents can learn more about the budget revisions and share their ideas. The meetings will take place on:
Monday, Feb. 9
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Martin Luther King Park Recreation Center
4055 Nicollet Ave. S.
Tuesday, Feb. 10
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Eastside Neighborhood Services
1700 Second St. N.E.
- A video message from Mayor Rybak. The video will also air on City Cable channels 14 and 79 throughout the day, generally at the top of the hour (with the exception of a few evening hours on certain weekdays).
The $13 million cut represents a significant financial impact to the City's budget. To put that amount into context, it represents the equivalent of paying for 130 police officers or 150 firefighters. Looked at another way, it represents a cut that is about twice as much as it cost the City to respond to the I-35W Bridge collapse.
The vast majority of the City's annual budget is restricted for specific purposes. Out of the City's approximately $1.4 billion budget, $378 million is from its general fund, which is funded primarily through property taxes and Local Government Aid. That means that cuts to LGA result in the City having to make budget cuts from services paid for by the general fund, specifically services like police and fire protection, health and family support, and public works services like street repairs, snow removal, and infrastructure improvements. More than half of the general fund goes to public safety.
Mayor Rybak will propose a new 2009 budget to the City Council in mid- to late February. The City Council will consider the new budget following a typical budget deliberation process and is expected to vote to approve a new budget in early March.
Feb. 03, 2009
Published Feb 3, 2009