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Council adopts blighted properties ordinance

With a unanimous vote Monday night the Benson City Council approved the second reading of an amendment to city code addressing blighted and dilapidated residential properties.
The amendment will now be published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News. Thirty days after publication it becomes law unless citizens challenge it by petition, forcing it to a vote.
A valid petition must have enough city resident signatures to represent 15 percent of the people who voted in the 2013 city election. There were 830 votes cast, so a petition would have to have a minimum of 125. The names must be people who are currently eligible voters in the city. The referendum is conducted at the next general election, which would likely be Nov. 4.
Though the vote was unanimous, some members of the council were hesitant to adopt it as worded.
Council Member Sue Fitz said she had a lot of concerns about the proposed ordinance. “There are a lot of folk who can’t afford to make repairs,” she said. “I don’t know how we can help them.”

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