Back to the Jan-Feb 2023 issue

Bits & Briefs

NLC’s Congressional City Conference

The National League of Cities Congressional City Conference is set for March 26-28 in Washington, D.C. City officials who attend this annual event can connect with the Minnesota congressional delegation, learn about new federal programs, make connections with peers from across the country, and pick up some new advocacy tools. Learn more at

East Grand Forks Enhances Bonuses to Hire and Retain Police

David Murphy is aware of the toll life as a police officer can have. “It’s not an easy job,” says Murphy, East Grand Forks’ city administrator/clerk-treasurer.

That’s why, like many cities, East Grand Forks has had to enact new initiatives to draw worthy candidates to their police department.

In October, the East Grand Forks City Council voted unanimously to approve hiring and retention bonuses for qualified officers. New hires who pass a background check and start the department’s field training and evaluation program (FTEP) will receive a $2,500 hiring bonus. Those who complete the FTEP program will receive an additional $2,500. Candidates who are moving from more than 50 miles away from East Grand Forks will receive $2,500 toward relocating expenses.

The retention bonuses, which will begin in 2023, provide a $3,000 bonus to officers who’ve stayed with the department for two to four years, $4,000 to officers who’ve reached five to nine years of service, and $5,000 for officers with more than 10 years in the department.

Find more examples and ideas for how your fellow Minnesota cities attract and retain employees; check out the City Career Advantage section on the League of Minnesota Cities website at

GreenStep City Workshops Have Answers for Your Questions

The 2023 season of GreenStep Cities virtual workshops are underway. Upcoming sessions include one on deciphering demographics on Jan. 18, and understanding best practices for protecting night skies in your community on Feb. 15. GreenStep is a voluntary challenge, assistance, and recognition program that helps communities achieve their sustainability and qualityof- life goals. Actions are tailored to cities of any size, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation. Your city doesn’t need to be a GreenStep City to participate. This season’s workshops end in May; see the list of topics and register at

New Grant Navigator Launched

The League recently launched the Grant Navigator program that will provide funding for city members to assess government grant programs and local needs for city projects. While there are various grant opportunities for projects, many cities find the grant search and application process overwhelming or lack the staff to research, prepare, and submit a successful application. Cities that are awarded Grant Navigator funding will work with industry partners to identify the types of grants that align with a community project, as well as get support through the grant application process. Grant Navigator funding will be capped at $5,000 per city and awards will be issued directly to the city for vendor payment. To apply for Grant Navigator funding, applicants must have a project for review, identify a project review team, and have support with a resolution from the City Council. Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by an internal Grant Review Committee consisting of League employees. Applicants will be notified of the application outcome within one to two months. For more information about Grant Navigator and to apply, visit

Browse the LMC Marketplace

What does your city need? The League of Minnesota Cities online Marketplace is where cities can find city-focused vendors, list and find items wanted or for sale, and post requests for proposals:

Connect directly with other Minnesota cities to find and sell used equipment, vehicles, emergency gear and other city-centered necessities. You can also post your city’s request for proposal (RFP) and source services for auditing, development, legal representation, planning studies, and more.

Member cities may post for sale/free, wanted, and RFP ads in the Marketplace section of the LMC website at no charge. Submit all ads by email to