ST. JOSEPH - The St. Joseph city council made a surprise move during a special budget meeting last (Tuesday) night.  They voted to end the city's participation in the Regional Human Rights Commission.

The Commission was formed in 2010 by St. Cloud.  St. Joseph is the only area city that has agreed to be a part of the Human Rights Commission, which was suppose to be a regional effort, which means St. Cloud is now on its own.

St. Joseph has been spending $5,000 a year to be a part of the group.

City Administrator Judy Weyrens says she's not sure how long it will take for the city to end their participation.

If St. Joseph leaves the Regional Human Rights Commission as planned, what will that mean for it's only other partner, St. Cloud? City Administrator Mike Williams says it would certainly end the regional office as we know it, but that doesn't close the door on St. Cloud working with the state of Minnesota going forward.  He says the state of Minnesota has enforcement powers and investigation tools the city doesn't have.  Williams says the city would certainly like to keep the state involved.

Williams says if St. Joe doesn't reconsider, the Joint Powers Board that was created to oversee the Regional Human Rights Commission will be dissolved.

The $110,000 cost of the commission is paid for through a Community Development Block Grant and the two cities.