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City of Benson to talk annexation with Torning Township

Lead Summary

By Reed Anfinson, Editor/Publisher
Representatives of the City of Benson will seek a meeting with the Torning Township board to discuss possibly annexing land along the east side of Swift County Highway 57.
The highway runs along the east side of Benson. Zielsdorf Auction & Real Estate Services and the St. Francis Cemetery are along the highway.
Benson businessman Don Lenz first met with the city council Sept. 9 to inform them he planned to build a new business along the highway next spring. That new business, Great Imports and Manufacturing, would need city sewer and water service, he said. He asked the city to considering extending those services along the south end of Highway 57.
Last Friday he met with the city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) on the request and was back asking for an update at the council’s meeting Monday night.
Lenz says Great Imports and Manufacturing would employ 30 to 40 people. He told the council and EDA that he had looked for other sites on which to build the business in the city, but could not find one. There is a site along the east side of Highway 57 that works for the business, he said.
The area is within the city’s electrical service area, but outside the city limits and outside the area served by city sewer and water.
It is estimated that extending city sewer and water services to the building site could cost between $150,000 and $200,000, City Manager Robert Wolfington said.
For it to be feasible for the City of Benson to pursue extending services there are a couple key elements that have to fall into place, Wolfington told the council. First, Torning Township has to be willing to let the city annex the land along the east side of the highway to which sewer and water will be extended.
Then, the property owners have to agree they want those services and are willing to be assessed to pay for them. There are nine business and residential properties along the stretch of Swift County Highway 57 that Benson sewer and water services would be extended. Some have already invested in well and septic system to serve their properties and may feel city services are an added cost they don’t need, he said.
Further, some may not want to become part of the city paying city taxes rather than township taxes.

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