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Meals on Wheels could deflate in Washington County

Looking for more ways to cut the budget, Washington County Commissioner Bill Pulkrabek is proposing an end to the county subsidy for the Meals on Wheels program.

It’s one of his proposals to get the county’s 2010 budget below this year’s level. Currently, commissioners are considering an increase of less than 1 percent increase, says the Stillwater Gazette, but Pulkrabek wants no increase or a decrease.

Ending the Meals on Wheels subsidy would save about $152,000. Ramsey County is the only other county that still subsidizes the program that brings meals to shut-ins, and Pulkrabek thinks the subsidy inflates the cost of meals, the paper said. County officials report that the cost per meal in Washington County is $8.71, compared with $6.77 in Bloomington, $6.39 in Eden Prairie and $5.03 in Dakota County. Eliminating the subsidy wouldn’t cut the number of meals, just the cost per meal, Pulkrabek said.

Other Pulkrabek proposals: cut $100,000 from the Historic Courthouse budget; $100,000 from the Regional Rail Authority; get $140,000 more from cities for property assessments done by the county; $122,000 from workforce services; $100,000 from chemical dependency treatment; and $100,000 from payments to the Washington County Conservation District.

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