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I. Falls renews contract with lobbyist

By Randy Thoms Dec 27, 2023 | 4:20 PM

International Falls Municipal Building, undated. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

The city of International Falls will continue to pay for the services of a consultant to lobby on its behalf at the state level.

The city will pay the Costin Group $2,000 a month for its services.

Mayor Harley Droba says it is a good investment.

“I believe in the two years we’ve had them, we have paid about $2,000 a month. So, we’ve spent $48,000 on a consultant, and we got $1 million from the state of Minnesota. So, it’s a good return on investment,” says Droba.

Droba says the group worked on a number of projects for the city over that time.

It included helping the city obtain funding to remove lead underground pipe.”

“That’s one of the things that did pass the legislature last year that the city would be able to utilize in some of the work that we’re doing, from city services to residential services,” says Droba.

The group also assisted the city with its ambulance funding issues and the Kerry Park improvement project.

Councillor Tim Wegner says it is needed but would like to hear from their lobbyist more.

“This consultant group has not that I’ve been on the council come and talk to us. So I think they should,” says Wegner. “We need it. Unfortunately, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. That’s the way it works. This is what puts us on the table at the state.”