News

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Jul
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Community to celebrate 88th annual Kid Day July 21-22

2018 Benson, Minnesota Kid Day poster

Benson is set to celebrate its 88th annual Kid Day Saturday and Sunday, July 21-22 with a number of activities also taking place in the days leading up to Kid Day weekend.  The theme of this year’s Kid Day is “Celebrating Kids!”.

•  The Kid Day Medallion Hunt is set to begin Monday, July 16 and continue each day through Friday, July 20, or until the Medallion is found.  The clues will be available daily on the front door of the Library, on KSCR from 7-9 a.m. each day, and on the Benson Kid Day Facebook page.  The top prize for the youth who finds the Kid Day Medallion is $100.

•  Krazy Daze in Benson is set to take place Thursday, July 19, and local businesses will be offering sidewalk sales and special offers.  Look for ads in the Monitor-News for great Krazy Daze deals.

Fri
13
Jul
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Peace run torch carriers pass through Benson last Friday

Putu from Indonesia, Nayaja from Italy, and Kshema from Ukraine run with the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run torch as they pass through Benson last Friday.

Last Friday, the women runners participating in the local leg of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run passed through Benson on the way to Willmar with the eventual goal of making it to New York City.

It was in New York City where the run started April 10. Since then torch carried by runners participating in the peace run has been carried through Atlanta, GA, Santa Fe, NM, San Diego, CA, up through Seattle, WA, and to Vancouver, British Columbia. From there it headed back east going through Bowman, MT, Lemmon, SD, and Benson.

The three runners passing through Benson were from the Ukraine, Indonesia and Italy....

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest news, subscribe to the Swift County Monitor-News print edition or our PDF internet edition. Call 320-843-4111 and you can get all the local news and sports delivered to you!

Fri
13
Jul
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Swift County stands by $50,000 pledge to Monte veterans home

Swift County remains committed to its promise of $50,000 to help with the construction of a veterans home in Montevideo made in February 2014 .

Backers of the project were at the Swift County board meeting Tuesday, July 3, to update commissioners on the project status and to say they would like to receive the county’s funds by Nov. 1.

“It may be a home run for Montevideo, but it is also a base hit for us because we just can’t live within county lines anymore,” Commissioner Pete Peterson, District 3-south Benson and Torning Township said. “This is something that is going to be a benefit to our citizens.” He added that it is important for the county to stand by its commitment of $50,000.

Swift County has around 900 veterans, Veterans Service Officer Dave Barrett says. Many local veterans, however, don’t use those homes because they are so far away from their families.

Fri
13
Jul
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Benson pool reopens Monday

Benson’s outdoor swimming pool was open Monday and packed with children swimming, diving, getting drenched by waterfalls, and going down the giant slide.

Monday the pool cleared all of the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) requirements for addressing the potential for cryptosporidium having entered the pool.

Benson’s outdoor swimming pool was closed Thursday after the city received a call from the MDH saying an individual suspected of being involved in a cryptosporidium outbreak in the Twin Cities had been in the pool.

“We have no confirmation that it (the parasite) is there, but because it is a potential risk the city decided, along with my input, to close the pool as a precautionary measure, and to go ahead and disinfect,” Suzanne Paulson with Countryside Public Health’s environmental health department, said Friday.

Fri
06
Jul
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Civic Center bids higher than expected

When the District 777 Board of Education budgeted for improvements to the north end of the Benson Civic Center this past February, it set the expenditure ceiling at $695,600.

At a special school meeting Monday noon in the superintendent’s office, the board reviewed bids opened June 21 that were substantially higher than expected.

Just the base bids ranged from $493,000 to $800,945. However, the base bids came with three additional construction add-ons that raised the price to between $834,100 and $1.125 million. Those alternate bids included adding a gymnastics pit, adding ceiling insulation and protection, and adding fire protection.

But it isn’t just the higher cost that presents a challenge for the school board; it is also the Civic Center’s location in a flood plain. Under state law, the school board can’t spend more than half the value of a building located in a flood plain on improvements.

Fri
06
Jul
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$4 million payment coming to city next week

With Xcel Energy’s purchase of Benson Power, LLC, finalized last Friday, the City of Benson is now scheduled to receive a $4 million payment next week for future economic development efforts.

Another $16 million in payments is to follow on June 1 over the next three years. In each 2019 and 2020, the city is scheduled to receive $6 million in payments. It is to get a final $3 million payment bringing the total of the four payments to $19 million.

Those funds are intended to be used to replace the loss the city will experience in jobs, economic activity and local tax base due to Xcel’s plans to shut down Benson Power and level the site.

Fri
06
Jul
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N.D. PSC votes to let Xcel shut down Benson Power

North Dakota’s Public Service Commission  voted unanimously June 27 to approve Xcel Energy’s plan to purchase and shut down  Benson Power, LLC.

Xcel notified the City of Benson last Friday that financial closure of the deal with Benson Power’s East Coast insurance company investor owners had taken place, City Manager Rob Wolfington said.

Based in downtown Minneapolis, Xcel Energy has a single subsidiary for its electrical and gas businesses in North Dakota and Minnesota.  As that two-state subsidiary, Northern States Power Company (NSP) was the entity that petitioned the PSC for relief from the agreements governing the future of Benson Power.

The question before the North Dakota PSC was, “Is NSP’s proposal to terminate its biomass power purchase agreement with Benson Power, LLC, acquire the Benson facility and subsequently close the facility prudent?”

Fri
06
Jul
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Redesign upgrades golf club

Benson Golf Club Board Chair Jerry Peterson, at left, gives the Benson City Council a tour Monday night of the improvements recently made to the exterior of the clubhouse and the grounds.

When it completed its regular agenda Monday evening, the Benson City Council drove to the city-owned golf club and course to see the recent improvements to the clubhouse and grounds.

While the city owns the facility, it is operated by the membership through an elected board of directors. As the population of the area has fallen over the past several decades, and as more golf courses have been built, it has been harder for the club to make ends meet.

Weather during the playing season and the health of the area’s economy can also have an impact on revenues earned and expenses. Unusually heavy rainfalls in past years have flooded the course while severe windstorms have downed numerous trees, causing it to close temporarily for short periods. A near record cold April this year led to little play that month.

Fri
29
Jun
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More than 70 show up to hear about school building proposal

Absentee ballots available for levy, statewide elections, starting Friday
 

 

More than 70 people attended the first meeting sponsored by Benson Public Schools to inform the public about the purpose of the proposed $26.3 million building levy referendum to be voted on Aug. 14.

On hand to outline the project’s scope and cost were Supt. Dennis Laumeyer, architect Paul Youngquist of Architects Rego + Youngquist of St. Louis Park, and Andrea Uhl of Ehlers, a Roseville public finance advising company that has put together information on the financial impact of the proposed levy on taxpayers.

Also speaking at the meeting were Eric Peterson, Jesse Hughes and Tim Nagler, three citizens who have been deeply involved throughout the whole process of developing the proposed building project. Peterson is in the farm implement business; Hughes is a real estate agent and farmer; Nagler farms.

School board members attended the meeting as well....

Fri
29
Jun
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Swift County considers affiliation with PrimeWest

Multi-county group works with Medicaid population

With an upfront cost of nearly $1 million, Swift County is now looking at affiliating with PrimeWest Health to provide Medicaid recipients health care coverage.

Payment into the system would be made in 2019 and 2020, but the county board is hoping that the payment period can be extended to three or four years for the unexpected expense.

When Swift County joined 11 other counties in forming the Southern Prairie Community Care cooperative more than seven years ago, it was looking to change the model for providing care to the region’s 27,000 Medicaid patients. It was also looking for savings over what Medicaid programs cost through UCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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