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Long-term financial plan on docket for Monday meeting

The Worthington City Council will consider during its Monday meeting a professional services agreement pertaining to the preparation of a long-term financial management plan.

City staff is recommending the engagement of Ehlers Public Finance Advisors to assist with such a plan while helping to develop a comprehensive funding strategy for the long-term operating and capital needs of the city. If the agreement is approved, Ehlers will develop a customized financial model for the city with cash flow projections for multiple city funds.

Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson, in a memo to council members included in Monday’s agenda, explains that “local governments are faced with a number of outside forces that are raising concerns beyond typical one- and two-year budget cycles.” He adds: “Inflation, supply-chain shortages, employee retention and unfunded mandates imposed by state and federal legislatures are challenging our ability to provide exceptional service to our constituents while maintaining the city's financial health and affordable property tax rates.”

A long-term financial management plan is intended to provide the council with an understanding how today's decisions will affect constituents in the future. In addition, the plan can be updated in future years to show the impacts of different scenarios such as changes in project costs, adjustment to the timing of projects or changes in priorities and needs.

The scope of work recommended to be performed by Ehlers will be done on an hourly basis for a not-to exceed fee of $20,000. It’s proposed the fees for the long-term financial plan come from unallocated American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Among other business items Monday, council members are slated to again consider a request from Ron Prins – who owns Ron’s Repair at 2385 Minnesota 60 – that allows for an approximately 150 feet x 182 feet expansion to the existing building. The request was tabled during the previous council meeting pending review of comments on the request made by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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