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Where have all the flowers gone in Austin?

The flower basket program in downtown Austin, Minn.,  took a hit this week, when the city council cut the city’s floral contribution in half, citing state budget cuts.
The  Austin Daily Herald notes that community donations of $20,000 have paid for

The flower basket program in downtown Austin, Minn.,  took a hit this week, when the city council cut the city’s floral contribution in half, citing state budget cuts.

The  Austin Daily Herald notes that community donations of $20,000 have paid for half of the flower program and the city had contributed $20,000 in the past. Now the city will give just $10,000, city council members decided.

There was talk of eliminating the flowers altogether, but supporters prevailed.

Bonnie Rietz, the former mayor and creator of the project — a beautification effort including baskets, pots and other decorative flower arrangements across Austin — told the council she understands their need to cut but also believes the flowers make the city a more desirable place to live.

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“When you have a city that’s beautiful like this, people want to stay here,” she said. “Flowers are something that raise your spirits.”