East Grand Forks Mayor Steve Gander discussed on Tuesday a successful meeting he had with Minnesota state legislators last week, during which he and other city leaders brought up several local concerns.
“And top among them is fixing our LGA formula,” Gander said, referring to Local Government Aid, or money the Minnesota Legislature sets aside each year from its general fund to help local governments pay operational costs.
The state distributes LGA funding to eligible cities each year using a statistical formula that evaluates several factors, including age of infrastructure, property values, strength of tax base and the prevalence of pre-1940 housing.
Because the city of East Grand Forks lost much of its pre-1940 housing in the flood of 1997, Gander said it’s likely the city isn’t receiving all that it qualifies for.
“It causes us to lose close to $100,000 in each of three consecutive years,” Gander said. “Even into next year, we’re slated close to another $100,000 loss.”
Gander was joined on Wednesday by Council President Mark Olstad, council member Marc DeMers and City Administrator David Murphy, he said.
“I think we had a pretty good reception from all that we talked to,” Gander said.The Governor’s Fishing Opener
In December, the East Grand Forks City Council heard from the local Convention and Visitors Bureau about potentially hosting the 2021 Governor’s Fishing Opener. Gander said on Tuesday event officials plan to visit and evaluate the city on May 29.
City leaders have also been invited to attend the upcoming opener in Albert Lea this summer, Gander said, with the CVB covering some of those travel expenses.