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The City of Minneapolis 3-1-1 redundancy

The City of Minneapolis, according to Mayor R.T. Rybak, has hit some hard times and the budget goals for 2010 include cuts in police, fire and city workers jobs as well as raising residents property taxes on average of 6.6 %, which also includes residents paying for pension obligations of the city.

There are many city projects that are not of dire urgency to keep around. One such project is the city's 3-1-1 information hotline. It is this hotline where city residents can call to report a broken street light, snow parking bans and dogs at large complaints. Many question the need to have what ultimately is  the yellow pages, the police department (non-emergency), the public works department and a redundancy of the State of Minnesota's 1-800-Snow or Plow.

The start up of 3-1-1 which happened last year was 3.6 Million dollars and its annual budget is 3.1 Million dollars. 3-1-1 employs 28 people in which a few will not be returning to their jobs once the city budget is put in place.

The City of Minneapolis and its departments have been slashing their budgets to be in line with the Mayors proposed budget for 2010. Jobs that are unfilled now will remain unfilled. City workers who have chosen to leave their positions, including those at 3-1-1 will not have their positions filled.

For the City of Minneapolis 3.1 Million dollars in annual savings by eliminating the 3-1-1 hotline would go further than cutting the police department budget or raising taxes on residents.

"If the government has more of your money every year, then you can be sure they are wasting it." CZ


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