FARMINGTON - State and local leaders met to talk about the puzzle of government and how it impacts local residents during the joint meeting with Farmington's city council and school board.

Mayor Todd Larson introduced county, state and national leaders during the annual meeting hosted Monday, July 15, at City Hall.

Area leaders

Met Council member Wendy Wulff, who is in her fifth term, reported on the 2040 Comp Plan.

"We did receive your Comp Plan and are reviewing it for completeness, and I would be really surprised if it comes back complete because all of them usually come back with something that needs to be followed up on," Wulff said.

Farmington 2040 Comp Plan is now under review.

Communities with water suppliers that rely on groundwater will have potential access to grants of $2,000-$50,000 for water use reduction. This is an attempt to conserve water as a natural resource. Residents may qualify for a grant or rebate if they install a low-flow toilet or controllers on home irrigation systems that avoid unnecessary lawn irrigation.

Dakota County finished its 2040 Comp Plan to forecast what the county will look like in 20 years.

"What we are working on first and foremost is our groundwater plan, we have some high nitrates in parts of the county and other natural-producing minerals causing issues with our drinking water," Dakota County Commissioner Mike Slavik said. "We only have so much water and we want to make sure it stays clean."

A full, county-wide plan will allow the county to leverage other funds to work on better cleanup with the water.

Last week Dakota County kicked off its 2040 Transportation Plan. The county's 2030 Transportation Plan devoted $1.2 billion in transportation needs and a work list for a 20-year time span.

Due to the transportation tax, the county will be very close to meeting those transportation needs by 2030, Slavik said. Touting how Dakota County is the lowest taxed county in the state, Slavik said the county continues to work on budgets.

State representation

Minnesota House Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-District 58B, spoke as a leader and Farmington resident.

"We have increasing challenges especially with schools and not only in our district with the growing population, but also because of new challenges new students are bringing," Garofalo said. "I just want to say thank you for all the work you do and it really does show."

Citing record deaths from opioid abuse, this year the state passed a comprehensive bill to address the community to combat the drug crisis with a multi-prong approach.

"I think there are far too many addicts and I think we are turning a corner and it will be get better after many strategies have been implemented and are starting already," Garofalo said.

Touting legislation passed in 2015 that dedicated using existing revenue to implement a transportation package, Garofalo said the legislation was able to preserve funding this session.

"The number of roads we have to fix, and we have to do it, means the more resources we can provide, then that means the less you are going to have to raise assessments and property taxes," Garofalo said.

Larson asked Garofalo what he forecasts may be in the future that the city of Farmington should be concerned about.

"I think in the short term, you are seeing pretty stable public policy with bipartisan work in government right now," he said, adding how all parts of the state are being represented. "I think we are fine with this year and next year, but I would be concerned if one party got total control, and of course I am biased because I am a Republican, but if the Democrats were to get total control and historically when that has happened it would mean communities like ours would have to pay for revenue and expenditures for other parts of the state.

"Part of our problem is that communities like Farmington and others around the state are seen as wealthy communities and there are many reasons for that and our job is to stop that," Garofalo added.