The City of St. James relies on 42.5% of their general budget from LGA Funding! Because of cuts over the years to LGA Funding cities like St. James has suffered! Check out the full story in this week's Plaindealer!

One of the most common significant struggles for most small cities across the state is the balance between funding critical projects and other necessities and limiting the amount of burden they put on their residents. Top it off with the proposed LGA budget being less than it was in 2002 for this year the coalition is hoping to make significant strides in at least making the funding current with it was in 2002. Local Government AId (LGA) is a state program that delivers funding to cities that have a high service need compared to their tax base. Over 90% of cities in Minnesota receive LGA.

Starting in 2003 the LGA funding began to be reduced. Although the funding amount has fluctuated ever since then, there has been no year where funding was equal to what it was in 2002.

In fact according to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities LGA is still $30.5 million below its 2002 level, not even accounting for inflation. Through a bill Chief authored by Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne) and Rep. Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck) $30.5 million could be added to LGA funding a bill that St. James City Manager, Sam Hansen testified last week during the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Legislative Action Day. “Sen. Weber and Rep. Anderson are veteran legislators and great champions for Greater Minnesota. We are grateful they are taking the lead on this issue and continuing to fight on behalf of the nearly 90 percent of Minnesota cities who receive LGA,” said Dave Smiglewski, mayor of Granite Falls and president the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC). For St. James the bill being passed in its entirety would mean that they would receive an additional $161,998 for 2018 something that will be very important for the city according to Hansen

Be sure to check out the full story by picking up your print edition of this week's Plaindealer!