Albert Lea approves contract for outside legal services

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(ABC 6 News) – One of the issues the Albert Lea city council discussed on Monday evening involved a new way of handling the city’s legal services.

Instead of having a city attorney on staff like in years past, the council voted to contract with an outside legal office.

The council approved a two-year contract with a firm from Whitebear lake. The goal is to save the city money.

The previous city attorney had been making just under 104 thousand dollars a year.

Under this new contract, the city will pay the firm seven thousand dollars a month for services.

That’s 84 thousand dollars a year. But anything requiring more than 10 hours of work per month would cost the city an additional 230 dollars per hour.

“We felt that this is the safest route to try this thing that is very new. We’re hopeful it will be successful, just looking at the data it seemed to be the way a lot of communities are going,” said Albert Lea city manager Patrick Rigg.

City officials say other cities similar in population to Albert Lea have tried it this way.

The decision to change was made last year when the current city attorney announced they’d be leaving.

Rich Murray also took his oath as the city’s new mayor Monday evening.

Murray previously served on the city council for six years and says he’s already got a full slate of priorities for the mayor’s office.