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Handbook for Minnesota Cities Ch. 25 -- Financing Public Improvements
Published Sep 3, 2014
Read about commonly used and authorized financing tools for cities to fund local improvements and economic development. Includes discussion on issuing debt, reserve funds, improvement and special service districts, fees and connection charges, and state and federal road and bridge funding sources, among others. (Revised 9/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 1 - - Local Government in Minnesota
Published Jul 25, 2014
Learn about the different kinds of local government such as cities,towns, counties, and special districts such as lake improvement, special service, soil and water conservation, watershed, school, regional development commissions and the Metropolitan Council. Understand the relationship of local governments to the state and federal governments. (Revised 7/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 10 - - Working Conditions for Public Employees
Published Sep 12, 2014
Learn about the protections required for worker safety by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), as well as employee benefits in case of work-related injuries that must be provided under state workers’ compensation law. Limits and protections for employee political activity are also included.(Revised 9/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 11 - - City Licensing
Published Nov 18, 2013
Understand the basic concepts in licensing such as city authority, constitutional issues, pre-emption and limitation and fees. Learn about licensed activities such as liquor, animals, peddlers, businesses, telecommunications and more.(Revised 11/2013)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 12 - - City Regulatory Functions
Published Sep 22, 2014
Authority to regulate various activities in the city comes from state law. Learn about the activities most commonly regulated and licensed by cities such as lawful gambling, speed limits, traffic violations, parking regulations, utilities, curfew, loitering, open burning, noise, obscenity, and others.(Revised 9/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 13 - - Public Safety and Emergency Management
Published Jul 29, 2014
Find out how cities may protect the public safety through regulations, such as adopting and enforcing the State Building Code, and providing services like police, fire protection or ambulance. Learn about preparing for and carrying out emergency functions to prevent, minimize and repair injury and damage from disasters such as flooding or tornados. (Revised 7/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 14 - - Comprehensive Planning, Land Use and City Owned Land
Published Aug 15, 2014
Learn about land use ordinances to establish zoning and subdivision regulations, and city land acquisition through dedication, negotiation and eminent domain. Regulations and acquisition are the two basic methods of city land use control. (Revised 8/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 15 - - Community Development and Redevelopment
Published Nov 4, 2013
Learn about the requirements for a city to establish criteria for awarding business subsidies and various development agencies cities may create. Find an overview of state and federally sponsored programs for encouraging development and redevelopment. Most economic development tools can be applied to any size city. These tools are interrelated, and a city may use several for one project. (Revised 11/2013)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 16 - - Environmental Regulations
Published Nov 21, 2013
Find out about the most significant environmental regulations, many required by state law and rules, and the opportunities you have to help protect and improve your city’s natural resources by protecting state waters, water quality, observing pipeline safety, regulating pesticides and more. Connect this information with your efforts on community development when considering implementation. (Revised 11/2013).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 17 - - Intergovernmental Cooperation
Published Sep 30, 2014
Understand city powers and processes to promote cooperation between governments such as contracting, the joint powers act, land use planning and regional development, city extra-territorial powers and banding with others in local government associations. Collaboration accomplishes more for cities with complex responsibilities and shrinking resources. (Revised 9/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 18 - - Liability
Published Sep 12, 2014
Understand city exposure to lawsuits and the state statutes and judicial decisions that limit liability. Addresses tort liability of cities, officers and employees; statutory immunities, exceptions and limits to liability; and special causes of action such as civil rights or antitrust. (Revised 9/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 19 - - Insurance and Loss Control
Published Nov 19, 2013
Insurance helps pay lawful claims and can provide a defense when meritless claims are made. Learn about basic and specialty insurance coverage, fidelity and faithful performance bonds, sources of insurance, and more. Understand how loss control measures - the ongoing process of analyzing and responding to hazards - can reduce the likelihood that injuries will occur and claims will be made.(Revised 11/2013).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 2 - - Change of Boundaries, Status and Name
Published Aug 15, 2014
Learn the procedures for incorporating, consolidating and dissolving cities and the related procedures of annexation and concurrently detaching from one city and annexing into another. Understand the role of the state’s Municipal Boundary Adjustment Division in these processes. (Revised 8/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 20 - - Sources of Revenue
Published Aug 25, 2014
Learn about major sources of revenue for cities you can consider in developing and implementing a city budget. Examples include state aid programs, charging for city services, license and permit fees, investment income, city enterprise funds, taxes, street and highway funding, and borrowing options.(Revised 8/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 21 - - Budgeting
Published Jul 30, 2014
Learn the characteristics of city budgets as a work plan and communication tool. Understand the budget cycle and structures, sources of city revenue, typical expenditure categories, and planning for multiple-year expenditures, like infrastructure, with a separate capital budget. Become aware how GASB and Truth in Taxation impact budgeting. (Revised 7/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 22 - - Property Tax Levy
Published Aug 27, 2014
Learn about the city’s authority to tax and the role of the property tax process. Understand the property tax process including assessment, valuation and classification of property. Read about levy limits, Truth in Taxation requirements and tax differential treatment for special categories of land such as rural preserve lands, special service districts, taxing annexed or consolidated lands. (Revised 8/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 23 - - Expenditures, purchasing and contracts
Published Nov 19, 2013
Learn about state laws regulating disbursement of public funds such as competitive bidding requirements, best value and emergency contracting, construction contracts, contracting with other governmental entities and purchasing consultant services. Get guidance on the city official prohibition against having a personal financial interest in city contracts. (Revised 11/2013)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 24 - - Debt and Borrowing
Published Sep 2, 2014
Find information on the legal aspects of debt and borrowing such as laws governing bonds, debt service funds, and the impact of federal law. Read also practical suggestions about the administration of capital financing programs and descriptions of how the process actually works. (Revised 9/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 26 - - Financial Reports, Accounting, and Auditing
Published Oct 1, 2014
Find basic information routine financial tasks and duties cities must perform such as use of funds in accounting, internal control procedures, financial reporting requirements, federal and state auditing requirements and how to use them effectively, depositories and investment of city funds, and city bankruptcy. (Revised 10/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 27 - - Records Management
Published Aug 25, 2014
Defines public records and outlines records management issues including creation, retention and destruction of records, public inspection of records and the right to privacy. Understand management concepts for electronic records such as email, text messages and websites. Learn about metadata, security, backups and disaster recovery.(Revised 8/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 3 - - The Statutory City
Published Jul 28, 2014
Minnesota law provides for two basic types of cities: statutory cities operating under the statutory city code; and home rule charter cities operating under a local charter. Learn about the organization and general powers of statutory cities, the most common type of city in the state. (Revised 7/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 4 - - The Home Rule Charter City
Published Nov 7, 2013
Understand the authority to form a home rule charter city, charter city powers and the ways it may be organized. Contrast charter cities to those operating under the statutory city code. These broad categories are the two basic types of city organization available in Minnesota.
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 5 - - Election Procedures
Published Sep 15, 2014
Outlines election procedures, notices, ballot requirements, qualifications and training of election judges, and voting and counting procedures. Links to sample forms and more from the Secretary of State. Also learn about voter residency and eligibility, absentee voting and voter registration; eligibility for city office candidacy, how candidates file and withdraw, campaign finance reporting and fair campaign practices. (Revised 9/2014)
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 6 - - Elected Officials and Council Structure and Role
Published Sep 11, 2014
Understand the council’s role in city governance, including eligibility for office, council powers versus individual councilmember roles, and delegation of its power. Learn about the special roles of the mayor and clerk and use of both independent and advisory citizen boards and commissions. (Revised 9/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 7 - - Meetings, Motions, Resolutions and Ordinances
Published Oct 2, 2014
Review requirements city councils must follow when conducting meetings and public hearings such as the open meeting law and its exceptions, taking and publishing minutes, and parliamentary procedure. Learn when to use a motion, resolution or ordinance to do city business and the procedures required for each. Links to various sample resolutions, ordinances, and a notice of hearing. (Revised 10/2014).
Handbook for Minnesota Cities: Ch. 8 - - City Administrative Staff
Published Nov 20, 2013
Learn about the duties of various city officials, the requirements for qualifying for office, and the problem of incompatible offices. (Revised 11/2013).
- Key resources on popular topics
Most Popular Resources
- Budget Guide for Cities (pdf)
This guide, which contains 2014 legislative changes, is intended to assist city managers, clerks, finance officers, and elected city officials in preparing 2015 city budgets. It includes state and federal laws affecting city budgets, information about standard city expenditure items, descriptions of city revenues, and more.
- Meetings of City Councils (pdf)
Learn the ins and outs of city council meetings, including types of meetings, the Open Meeting Law, notice requirements, scheduling, attendance, minutes, procedure, motions, and model bylaws. Especially helpful for newly elected officials, but a great reference for all mayors and city councilmembers.
- Public Purpose Expenditures (pdf)
Find out the general criteria a public expenditure must meet to be valid. This publication includes discussion of specific expenditures and whether there is specific authority for cities to make them.
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