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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
  • River Ramblings.....

  • On Friday evening we drove down Highway 23 to Marshall for the community banquet that was held at Southwest Minnesota State. It was the kick off for the 2nd annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener. The large banquet hall was full of hunters from the far reaches of Minnesota, along with a few politicians, local leaders...
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  •     On Friday evening we drove down Highway 23 to Marshall  for the community banquet that was held at Southwest Minnesota State. It was the  kick off  for the 2nd annual Governor’s Pheasant Opener.
     The large banquet hall was full of hunters from the far reaches of Minnesota,  along with a few politicians, local leaders and other folks who worked to make the event a big one.
        By all measures it was a very big success.
        Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes told me about the multi-month planning that had taken place and how much work it takes to bring about something of that magnitude.
        Governor Mark Dayton seemed to enjoy the event and mentioned  that he is always glad to be in southwestern Minnesota.
        On Monday, our committee of Minnesota mayors who are charged with digging up ideas about property tax reform and Local Government Aid for Minnesota cities met in St. Paul.     The governor was there and we each outlined our concerns and ideas for reforming that all-important local government aid to him. He seemed to be genuinely interested in doing what can be done to ensure that cities all over Minnesota are treated fairly by the state. It is refreshing to have the state’s leader look at cities as being a partner instead of being yet another problem.
       What makes any of this important? Well, cities provide a huge number of basic services that affect everybody’s daily life including police and fire   protection, snow plowing, water and sewer service,  recreation facilities of all sorts, economic development and on and on.
       Without the state leveling the playing field, many cities would  not be able to afford to provide the service that Minnesotans all expect and need,
     Some cities have more property tax capacity than they need or could ever use while other cites, by dint of where they are located, have very little tax capacity or capability to pay for the services that we all use and expect.
        Keeping this funding intact and working well requires constant work but it’s well worth it as we all know.
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        Adding to our travels these past few days was a quick trip to St. Cloud. My newly wed cousin and her husband  had a gathering at their horse ranch about four miles outside of St. Cloud on Saturday. They are located in the country but are in Sherburn County. The county seat is Elk River, near Anoka and by all accounts a part of the metro area. Their place seems pretty rural to me, however.
    Page 2 of 2 -     Another cousin was there from Wyoming and my St. Cloud aunts were on hand, too, enjoying the conversation and even talking a bit about politics. It was great fun to see those relatives at a happy occasion.
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        Granite Falls is working to find grant money for repair and upgrades to owner-occupied  homes, rental homes and businesses, too.
         We have an article on page 3A that tells about how folks might be able to take advantage of this opportunity. It requires them to fill out a form indicating their needs and their interest. Please look it over and see if it could work for you. The city needs to have more interest shown in order to be eligible for the possible grant funding for this work.

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