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City's budget hit with $229,000 in LGA cuts

WORTHINGTON -- The City of Worthington will dip into 2008 budget reserves to recoup losses suffered in a recent cut to Local Government Aid (LGA).

The City Council met in an emergency session Wednesday morning to respond to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Dec. 19 announcement that he would cut $110 million from Dec. 26 payments due to cities and counties in an effort to balance the state budget.

In Worthington, $228,900 was cut from the certified Local Government Aid payment, bringing the amount the city will receive in its December payment from $1,529,907 to $1,301,007. The city's Market Value Homestead Credit of $125,880, which was on the chopping block in some cities, will remain the same.

City Administrator Craig Clark said the city will use budget reserves to fund items or projects already accounted for in the 2008 budget and proceed with caution as it reworks the 2009 budget.

"As we look toward 2009 it's difficult to even try to make decisions on where we're going to go without knowing what the future holds. If we get a resolution out of the legislature, that doesn't get us out of the woods either. You can plan if you have something predictable."

The council will meet again in January to continue discussion on the topic.

"Any major purchases we're going to need to reevaluate as we're looking forward," Clark said. "We're expecting another reduction in LGA."