News

Fri
30
Jun
admin's picture

Basic upgrade of junior high auditorium could cost up to $2.2 million

When a chunk of the plaster from the ceiling fell into the seating in the Junior High School auditorium the District 777 Board of Education knew it was likely facing a costly fix before the building could be back in use.

At this point, the junior high auditorium, which is the home to plays, music concerts, dance recitals, physical education classes, and sporting events, is not expected to be available during the 2017-2018 school year.

At its meeting June 19, architect Paul Youngquist, of Architects Rego + Youngquist of St. Louis Park, laid out a three-tiered plan for upgrading the auditorium with costs ranging from $2.2 million to more than $5 million.

Fri
30
Jun
admin's picture

Pioneerland Band Festival Celebrates 30th Year

The Benson Marching Band. Three performers in front are: Kyle Reese on snare, Morgan Schmidt and Madisen Wieber playing flute.
The KMS Marching Band performing in front of the Benson Armory.

The Benson Marching Band, under the direction of Brock Duncan, leads the 30th Annual Pioneerland Band Festival, Wednesday, June 14. For the first time since 1993, the marching band was wearing new uniforms....

 

Pictured, top: Three performers in front are: Kyle Reese on snare, Morgan Schmidt and Madisen Wieber playing flute. 

Pictured, bottom: The KMS Marching Band performing in front of the Benson Armory.
 

More photos can be found on Pages 6-7A of the June 21, 2017 edition of the Monitor-News. To keep up on all the latest in area news and 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
16
Jun
admin's picture

Civic Center to be looked at for school sports facility

With CNH Industrial notifying the City of Benson that it is likely to move out of the north end of the Civic Center this fall, the possibility the space could be available for the Benson High School gymnastics program and other sports is now under discussion.

District 777’s Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to have architect Paul Youngquist, of Architects Rego + Youngquist of St. Louis Park, do an assessment of the 14,000-square-foot space.

They want an estimate of what it would cost to renovate the space for high school athletics use and an estimate on what the annual operating cost of the building would be for the district.

School board members were faced with looking for new space for the gymnastics program this past year when Benson’s City Council announced it would likely be renovating the Armory for use as a new city hall. The gymnastics program leases the gym space in the Armory.

Fri
16
Jun
admin's picture

Permit may be needed to tear down rural buildings

Swift County is considering requiring rural landowners to get a permit if they plan on demolishing a building on their property as a way to track what happens with the debris that is created. At this point, it knows that not all demolition debris is being disposed of according to the law.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Swift County Environmental Services Director Scott Collins received “calls, complaints, concerns” about the burying of demolition debris and garbage on farmsteads.

While some people may be unlawfully burying demolition debris on their farm sites, there are contractors who are bidding to haul it to demolition sites and dispose of it lawfully, he told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting June 6.

“The concerns that some of the contractors have is whether or not all the rules are consistent, are they being applied consistently, who is the police of the rules and how is it all going to be done?” Collins said.

Fri
16
Jun
admin's picture

County to decide June 20 who will enforce buffer law

Should Swift County’s Board of Commissioners be the enforcing authority for buffer strips or should it turn that authority over to the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources?

That decision is likely to be made at the county board’s Tuesday, June 20, meeting set to start at 5 p.m. However, those who plan to attend need to be aware of a change in where the county board will be meeting starting with the June 20 meeting and extending for perhaps the next six months or more.

Because extensive renovation and construction work is set to start later this month at the Swift County Courthouse, county commissioners will be meeting in the Benson City Council chambers in city hall. It is just to the north of the Family Dollar store at 1410 Kansas Avenue.

Fri
09
Jun
admin's picture

PCF sees progress in 2017 Legislature

Supporters of reopening the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton have worked doggedly at the Minnesota Legislature for the past several years in an effort to get the state to consider leasing or buying the vacant prison.

With the end up the 2017 legislative session they have won a minor, but important victory. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill that included language that directs the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to use an independent contractor to conduct an assessment of the prison’s readiness for use. The study will also look at what improvements would be needed before state prisoners could be housed in the 1,640-bed facility with the report due by Jan. 15, 2018.

It has sat empty since owner CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, shut it down in February 2010. CoreCivic has kept a maintenance staff at the prison to keep it ready to use and has made significant investments in improvements over the past seven years.

Fri
09
Jun
admin's picture

SCBHS plans to close Counseling Associates service in August

Swift County-Benson Health Services plans to close its Counseling Associates of West Central Minnesota operation with those services to be consolidated with Woodland Centers as of Aug. 21.

Counseling Associates currently operates out of the second floor of the hospital employing seven counselors and three support staff. In addition to providing services to the community, they meet some of the counseling needs of Benson Public Schools. It has been providing mental health services to the area for more than 30 years.

Woodland Centers is a non-profit mental health services agency that is supported by six counties, including Swift. The other counties are Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Meeker, Renville, and Chippewa with the main office in Willmar. It has offices in downtown Benson.

Fri
09
Jun
admin's picture

30th Pioneerland Band Festival Wednesday, June 14

Benson High School’s Marching Band performs in its new uniforms in the Memorial Day parade. It will lead off next Wednesday’s Pioneerland Band Festival parade.

Pioneerland Band Festival will celebrate its 30th parade in honor of Flag Day Wednesday, June 14, in Benson, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Despite all the sidewalk, curb and street work going on in the community, the parade will follow its traditional route starting out on west U.S. 12/Minnesota Avenue proceeding east to 14th Street, then going north to the Benson High School. It will travel past Do-Mat’s Family Food and Runnings on its way downtown where it will pass by the Country Inn, the Benson Armory where judging will take place, and on past Roosevelt Park.

Most of the sidewalks along the parade route have already been replaced with work continuing at a rapid pace into next week. No construction will take place along the parade route June 14.

Fri
09
Jun
admin's picture

Bill compensating city $20 million signed; but PUC needs to act as well

Fibrominn, now Benson Power, under construction in 2005.

While Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has signed the Jobs & Energy bill that included language that would see the City of Benson paid $20 million between 2018 and 2021 for economic development, there is still another hurdle to clear.

Whether or not the deal proceeds depends on state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval for Xcel Energy to buy out the owners of Benson Power, LLC, and then proceeding to shut it down. That shut down could come as earlier as the summer of 2018.

Benson Power produces 55 megawatts of power by burning turkey litter and woodchips. It employs 45 people at the plant with another 50 to 60 people working in jobs supplying the plant with turkey litter and wood chips. Ash from the plant is conveyed to the adjacent North American Fertilizer plant incorporated into fertilizer products. It has been estimated that over 100 people’s livelihoods are tied to the plant not counting the employees who work there.

Fri
02
Jun
admin's picture

Some school scoreboards aged, failing

Benson Pubic Schools’ Activities Committee will be looking into the costs and a schedule for replacing scoreboards in the district’s gymnasiums and outdoor sports facilities.

Benson Public Schools’ scoreboards range in shape from barely hanging on to okay, Activities Director Shannon Schmidt told the board of education at its May 15 meeting. She told the board that she was giving it the update on the scoreboards so that it didn’t end up one day with a gym or field without a working scoreboard.

If the school district were to modernize all its scoreboards, including upgrading with digital video screens, it could cost over $100,000 based on the experiences of other school districts in the area.

The softball field scoreboard is from around 2005 and was purchased used, she said. It is in the worst shape of any of the district’s scoreboards and needs to be replaced.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News