FOLEY  (AP) - The Foley City Council has voted to hire private security guards to patrol city streets next year.

City officials say the change will save $53,000 a year and was necessary to cope with state cutbacks in funding to local governments.

The town saw its local government aid payments cut by more than $150,000 this year.

Under the agreement reached Monday, city streets will be patrolled by employees of General Security Services Corp. starting Jan. 1.

The Benton County sheriff's office will continue to respond to 911 calls and other requests for law enforcement assistance.

Earlier this year, the council voted unanimously to hire a private security firm, but city officials agreed to suspend that plan after Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson urged the council to reconsider.

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