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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota cities are facing the challenge to keep things running during these times of uncertainty.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says the city must tighten its belt in order to get through the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s impossible to know the full scope of how this recession will impact Minneapolis, but we do know the impact will be significant,” Frey said. “That’s why we are taking serious steps now.”

He sent out a letter to city employees, thanking them for the job they are doing and asking them to partner with him in preserving the workforce during these financially troubled times.

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“Right now, projections indicate a loss of somewhere between $100 million or $200 million in revenue, and that’s a major hit,” Frey said.

The mayor is proposing a wage and hiring freeze. He would also like to see a delay in large purchases, and he wants to stop discretionary spending, eliminating non-essential travel and training.

“We’ve got contracts with our labor partners. and they need to be partners with us in getting to these final determinations,” Frey said.

The mayor believes federal dollars will make it to Minneapolis, but it may take time.

“As the legislation is presently set up, the monies flow directly to cities that are above a 500,000-person population. Now as you know, Minneapolis is barely below a 500,000 population, which means that the money would first need to go through the state and then ultimately to the city,” Frey said.

He believes working together is the only way to save lives and keep the pilot light that is our economy lit.

“The city is strong, we are resilient, and we’re going to get through this,” Frey said.

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Reg Chapman

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