News

Thu
15
Jan
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Board of Education conducts public meetings for proposed facilities improvement project

The District 777 Board of Education held a pair of public meetings last week to discuss the proposed facilities improvement project. About 40 members of the community were in attendance during last Tuesday night’s meeting in the Junior High Auditorium, and a little more than that were there the next night.
The board has met several times already as it tries to narrow down options for the facilities improvement project, which will come before the district voters in the form of a bond referendum sometime this spring.
“No decisions have been made yet regarding facilities,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said many times at the meetings. “The school board is taking its time to look at all possibilities for facilities improvements and come up with a solid plan to present to the public.”

Thu
15
Jan
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Humane Society of Kandiyohi/Meeker and Swift Counties

Ring in the New Year with a new pet!  Meet Malcom, Malcom is a neutered male, adult, Siberian Husky. Here is his Petfinder bio:
Do you want to build a snowman?? Malcom would love to help you, and romp around outside while building snow forts, snowmen, snowball wars, and any other activity! He can’t get enough of the snow and needs something to occupy his time. Malcom came to us as a stray and it seems he has spent a fair amount of time outside, the tips of both of his ears are frostbit. Malcom will need an owner who has experience with his breed and knows what his needs require.
Bonnie is a beautiful blue cream calico kitty. She is spayed and front declawed. Her family sadly had to surrender her to the shelter as they developed allergies. She is a quiet kitty, but very affectionate. She loves to play with toys and unroll the toilet paper. She gets along with the family dog.

Thu
08
Jan
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Below zero night gives way to sunny warmup

Despite a below zero night the next six days in our area will be blessed with a constant warmup.

There is a slight chance of precipitation (20%) Tuesday, then above zero temps both night and day through the weekend.

Sunday again brings a chance of snow.

Photo:  Winds are blowing around Benson despite the occasional sun.

Tue
06
Jan
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City’s rail crossings ranked high for potential danger

Benson’s 14th Street crossing with the Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks was ranked first on the recently released study looking at crossing safety concerns in relation to the transportation of Bakken crude oil by rail.
But that first place ranking in the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s “Improvements to Highway-Rail Grade Crossings and Rail Safety” study did not put it in line for any of the $2 million the 2014 Legislature set aside for crossing improvements.
To fully fund the recommendations in the study would take more than $280 million.
Out of the 683 at-grade crossings included in the MnDOT study, Benson’s three downtown crossings ranked first, eighth and 15th among those considered a high priority in addressing safety concerns. The 13th Street crossing ranked number eight while the 12th street crossing was number 15.

Fri
19
Dec
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Public Meetings January 6 and 7

The District 777 Board of Education has scheduled a pair of public meetings for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 6-7 to gather input from the public on a proposed facilities improvement project.
“The board will share a proposed draft of the project and seek public input; it is a simple as that,” Supt. Dennis Laumeyer said Tuesday morning.
The board has met several times already as it tries to narrow down options for the facilities improvement project, which will come before the district voters in the form of a bond referendum sometime this spring.
The board is seeking comments and ideas from members of the community before it finalizes plans for the multi-million dollar project.
Both meetings are set for 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the junior high auditorium.

Fri
19
Dec
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City approves 2.2% increase in tax levy

The Benson City Council approved a 2.2 percent property tax increase Monday night. It calls for $1,348,020 in taxes for 2015 compared to $1,321,981 this year, an increase of $26,039.
The city’s total revenues are expected to increase $78,105 to $3,623,892. Expenditures are increasing $134,909 over 2014 to $3,630,642. Whereas the city had budgeted for a surplus of just over $50,000 last year, it is budgeting for a $6,750 deficit this coming year.
One of the reasons the city is looking at a deficit is that it included a $3,500 payment out of the Tourism Board funds for the Pioneerland Band Festival.
City property owners also will be paying $75,705 in taxes to pay down the general obligations bonds approved by voters to pay for the Benson outdoor swimming pool renovation. That is an increase of $4,809 over last year.

Wed
10
Dec
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Santa Truck delights scores of youth

Thanks to a community effort led by the Benson Women of Today, the Santa truck was able to visit several communities in the Benson area.  Mrs. Claus and Santa visit with a young girl at the Santa Truck event, Saturday night at the Benson Fire Hall.  Santa visited with over 100 area youth in Benson alone, listening to their Christmas wishes and giving each a bag full of treats.  The Santa Truck also visited GLC-Meadow Lane, Clontarf, Danvers, and DeGraff.

Wed
10
Dec
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County approves funds for helipad

Swift County will contribute $13,333 toward the cost of constructing a helipad two blocks west of the Swift County-Benson Hospital.
The site is a vacant lot just to the east of the Civic Center and north of Swift County Human Services building. It is projected that constructing the helipad will cost $20,000, but planning costs will also be another $20,000. The City of Benson is picking up one-third of the  $40,000 cost with SCBH paying for the other one-third.
The city will also have to bury power lines at a cost of $75,000 to $80,000. Benson owns the land the helipad is to be constructed on and is donating for the project.
The helipad will include a 42-square foot concrete landing pad, lighting and a windsock. The city has engaged Landteam, Inc., of Alexandria to do the engineering for the site.

Wed
10
Dec
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Alliance receives loan from Agralite

Work to convert the former Kinder-Morgan propane tank facility from one that once supplied by pipeline to one supplied by rail has received critical funding through Agralite Electric Cooperative of Benson.
Alliance Midstream LLC, which was developed to keep the terminal operational, has received a $500,000 loan through Agralite to facilitate the acquisition of the longtime propane delivery terminal just west of Benson along U.S. Highway 12. Funds will also help with construction of the rail car offloading facility.
“We’re extremely pleased to be able to help Alliance Midstream keep what has long been an extremely critical propane terminal operating in our area,” Agralite Electric General Manager Kory Johnson said. “Agralite Electric members depend on this resource and it’s been an important piece of our community for decades.”

Thu
04
Dec
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Lady Storm fall twice at Willmar Invitational

The Lady Storm ran into some tough teams at the Willmar Invitational, Friday and Saturday as MBA fell to Long Prairie-Grey Eagle-WDC in the first game, Friday, 5-0, and then lost to Austin in the third place game, Saturday, 9-1.
Willmar went on to win the four-team title, beating Austin in the semifinals and LPGE-WDC in the championship game.
MBA fell to 1-4 overall with the two losses and is 1-0 in the Southwest Conference after a 5-2 win over Worthington the previous weekend.
MBA is set to host Park Rapids, Thursday, Dec. 4 in Morris before hosting Litchfield-DC, Tuesday, Dec. 9 in Benson.  After that, the Lady Storm will play LPGE-WDC for the third time this season when they travel up north, Thursday, Dec. 11.

Photo:  Lady Storm in action.

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