Locally, Pawlenty’s proposal equals painNewport, St. Paul Park would lose big chunk of state aid under governor’s budget
Drastic budget cuts could be on the way in Newport and St. Paul Park, the mayors of each city said Monday, after Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced $250 million in added cuts to city and county government aid as part of his proposed 2010 budget plan.
Newport is set to lose $226,000 in aid from a $2.8 million budget, and St. Paul Park would have roughly $143,000 in state funding axed from the city’s $1.8 million 2010 budget.
Pawlenty’s proposed cut would leave St. Paul Park with no remaining local government aid. Cottage Grove already does not receive the aid.
Newport Mayor Tim Geraghty and St. Paul Park Mayor John Hunziker both said they expected a reduction -- but neither anticipated how deep the governor would again cut aid to cities and counties.
“I didn’t expect that much, but it’s going to definitely have an impact on the budget,” Geraghty said when reached by phone Monday afternoon. “We’ll have to revisit the budget and look at where we’re at, look at what we can do. That’s a big hit.”
In St. Paul Park, there’s little left to eliminate from the city’s budget, Hunziker said.
“There’s no place left to cut,” he said. “We may have to start peeling away people.”
Both mayors expressed some frustration at the proposed cuts, which come on top of more than $100 million unallotted aid to cities less than a year ago.
“The cities are taking on a big share of the cuts,” Geraghty said. “I don’t know if (Pawlenty) is looking at cutting K-12, but maybe he should.”
Hunziker said it’s time to put pressure on the area’s elected representatives at the State Capitol.
“We need to start talking to our legislators,” he said. “The bill still has to go through the Legislature.”
Check swcbulletin.com for more on this story Thursday.