News

Wed
09
Jun
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County makes offer on MnDOT land for Appleton OHV Park

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County has tentatively agreed to purchase 30.33 acres of land along U.S. Highway 59 on the northeast side of the City of Appleton.

Owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), the property sits just to the south of the Appleton Area Off-Highway Vehicle Park. It comes with two benefits to the county.

First, the land is estimated to contain 187,000 cubic yards of Class 5 gravel. Class 5 gravel provides the right mix of rock that can be crushed, fine sand that will act as a filler between the rock, and clay that will bind the material together, so it stays on the county’s gravel roads...

 

For more on this story, and to keep up on all the latest in area sports, 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
28
May
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Swift County backs Benson, Appleton grants applications

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher

Swift County will contribute up to $100,000 to a multi-million project to improve broadband service in the City of Appleton through a partnership with Federated Telephone.

The county’s funds will come from the $1,797,084 it is receiving under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 over the next two years. It has already received half the funds, $898,542, with another $898,542 due in 2022.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is the second phase of the federal government’s aid to states to help offset the deep financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on cities, counties, schools and businesses.

In addition to the funds counties received under the ARP, the State of Minnesota has funds it received as part of last year’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) received $37.6 million.

Fri
28
May
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County renewing focus on garbage separation

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County has signed a $40,000 contract with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (RDC) aimed at educating the public and businesses about separating recyclables and compostables.
It has been 30 years since the Swift County Environmental Services first implemented its program through which garbage was to be sorted into three categories: processibles (recyclables,) compostables and non-processibles.
Over the years, the program gradually faded with the people throwing their non-processibles and compostables into the same container. The recyclables have still been separated out of the regular garbage stream for the most part.
In the spring of 2019, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins wrote a grant for $285,000 to address the county’s efforts to upgrade the way it collects garbage.

Fri
28
May
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Back to the old school days

Second grade students of Roger Ebnet take part in a game of “Pump, Pump, Pullaway” during a visit to the Old School House at Ambush Park last Tuesday morning.

Fri
28
May
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Girls Scout Cookies for veterans

Pieper Gades donated 110 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the Minnesota Veterans Administration medical clinics. Members of the Benson VFW post delivered the cookies to the area clinics.  Accepting the cookies was Benson VFW Commander Ryan Hanson. Pieper is the daughter of Molly and Kent Gades.

Fri
21
May
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Benson's new librarian believes 'paper will always reign over digital'

Benson’s new librarian Andrew Kelton grew up near the banks of the Chippewa River – not the one in Minnesota but the one in Wisconsin. It’s quite a bit bigger. His hometown sits between Eau Claire on the east and Red Wing, MN, to the west.

Kelton will also be serving as the Kerkhoven librarian.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, with a minor in history. He then went on to earn a Master of Library Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in May 2014. His master’s degree had a focus on archiving and record management. He also did an internship at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, as an archivist.

Wed
12
May
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Shooting range poses problem for OHV Park expansion

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
As the supporters of the Appleton Area Off-Highway Park look to expanding it, there is one considerable obstacle to linking the new land they are eyeing and the current park.
The steering committee developing the master plan for the park’s expansion and improvement is well aware of the problem.
The Appleton Sportsman’s Club has a shooting range is adjacent to the western and northern parcels that are being proposed for future purchase. There are some concerns about having more people near the range, County Commissioner Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, acknowledged at the county board’s May 4 meeting.

For more on this story, please support community journalism and subscribe to the Swift County  Monitor-News...

Wed
12
May
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Plans being made to expand Appleton’s OHV Park

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
A steering committee looking to expand and improve the Appleton Area Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park presented its preliminary plans to the Swift County Board of Commissioners May 4.
It proposed four main areas of concentration to see the park become a larger, regional attraction. They are:
- Adding new convenience amenities
- Improving connections to the park and the City of Appleton
- Expanding the park with new land acquisitions
- Maintaining the park including the trails
To assist with development planning for the park, a steering committee was formed that includes two members of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (RDC) in Appleton. The RDC provides planning services to local governments in Swift, Big Stone, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, and Lac qui Parle counties.

Wed
12
May
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Big savings with low interest rates

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
While historically low interest rates mean Swift County is getting very little for its investments, they also mean that there are opportunities to refinance its debts, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At its meeting Tuesday, May 4, commissioners met with George Eilertson of Northland Securities of Minneapolis to consider a request to refinance the bonds they sold in 2016. The bonds were told to finance expansion of broadband internet service to eastern portions of the county by Federated Telephone.
With the county backing the sale of $7.78 million in bonds, Federated would get a much lower interest rate making expansion of the broadband service feasible.  The county would sell the bonds and back them with its general obligation bond authority. However, Federated would make the payments....

Wed
12
May
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Shared engineer contract to end

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Yellow Medicine County has voted to not renew its shared services agreement for county highway engineering services after May 31, 2022, the four-year contract’s expiration date.
Swift County Administrator Kelsey Baker informed commissioners of the decision at their May 4 meeting. “They will be advertising for their own county engineer,” she said.
Since 2005, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties have shared a highway engineer. For much of that time, Andy Sander has held that position. He is hired by Swift County, with part of his time leased to Yellow Medicine.
It means the end of what Sander told commissioners was the “longest shared engineer position in the state – ever.” Shared engineer agreements have often ended because one of the parties feels as if it is not getting a fair deal in the time it receives, he said. That wasn’t the case for Swift and Yellow Medicine counties....

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