Commissioners vote 3-2 to take next step on justice center

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Farmer Ben Vadnais urges the Swift County Board of Commissioners to delay their vote on building a new justice center pointing out that the farm economy isn’t good and that the ag sector can only take so much additional cost on the land at this time. Nearly 90 people crowded into the county board room to hear what the board would do Tuesday morning.

After an at times contentious two-hour debate the Swift County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to proceed with studying more detailed designs and costs for a justice center.

Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, made the motion with a second by Eric Rudningen, District 5 – Kerkhoven. Commission Chair Ed Pederson, District 2-north Benson and Benson Township, claimed the motion was out of order since he had not called for it.

However, Hendrickx, Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3 - south Benson and Benson Township, Commissioner Joe Fox, District 4-Hegbert Township, and Rudningen all said any board member could make a motion without the chair’s request.

When it came to the vote, Hendrickx, Peterson, and Rudningen voted in favor of it while Fox and Pederson voted no.

Rudningen pointed out that the vote did not approve seeking the bonding for building the justice center. It was only approval to take the next step in developing more concrete plans. The county board will have to come back again when the study is done to decide whether or not it will vote to build the facility.

Nearly 90 people crowded into the Swift County Board of Commissioners meeting room Tuesday morning to voice their concern about a proposed $17.475 million justice center.

While some in the crowd were county staff, many showed their support for delaying the project, or not doing it all, through their applause when those who spoke against building the facility finished speaking.

Jim Hilleren of Danvers asked commissioners to delay their decision and consider an approach similar to Benson Public Schools with its building levy. It sought citizen input for going to voters for approval of a $26.3 million project last year....
 

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Pictured: Farmer Ben Vadnais urges the Swift County Board of Commissioners to delay their vote on building a new justice center pointing out that the farm economy isn’t good and that the ag sector can only take so much additional cost on the land at this time. Nearly 90 people crowded into the county board room to hear what the board would do Tuesday morning.

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