News

Wed
26
Feb
admin's picture

Special SCBHS meeting on refinancing next Monday

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Whether Swift County and the City of Benson will step in to help Swift County-Benson Health Services (SCBHS) possibly saving it as much as $250,000 a year in interest payments will be considered at a special meeting of the three public bodies Monday night.

SCBHS managing partner CentraCare Health Services was to present its plan for refinancing the debt this past Monday night but put its proposal off until the March 2 meeting as well. The meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the SCBHS meeting room.

SCBHS has $15.3 million in debt. Construction of Scandi Haven Village accounts for $7.3 million of the debt with another $2 million from construction of the new clinic and physical therapy area in 2013. There is $6 million in debt tied to the surgical center and north entrance lobby remodeling that was refinanced in 2014 to get a lower interest rate.

Wed
26
Feb
admin's picture

Make sure you are counted in census

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

 

With the official start of the 2020 Census just over a month away census committees are gearing up in counties and cities across the country.

Last Tuesday, Swift County Census 2020 Committee Chair Chelsea Bagent gave the board of commissioners an update on progress to date and the actions the county group will be taking in the days and weeks ahead. Bagent is also the Swift County Geographical Information Systems coordinator.

It is critical that Swift County and Minnesota get an accurate count in the upcoming census because future funding for social services programs, highways, schools, senior facilities, emergency services and more are tied to population...

 

Wed
19
Feb
admin's picture

City of Benson’s drinking water is cleared by MDH for copper levels

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

By changing how it treats its water, the City of Benson has passed the Minnesota Department of Health’s test for copper in its drinking water.

The elevated copper levels were not in the water supply coming from the city’s wells, but rather came off the copper pipes in homes. It was the way in which the water was treated that causes small amounts of copper to slough off into the drinking water as it sat in the home pipes.

Benson has been testing 20 homes twice a year since 2014 for copper levels. By passing this most recent test, the testing will go down to 10 samples one a year, Public Works Director Dan Gens told the city council earlier this month. If those samples come back good as well, then testing will only have to be done once every few years...

 

Wed
19
Feb
admin's picture

Anhydrous accidents a reminder of dangers

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

On a daily basis there are hazardous materials safely passing through Swift County with residents never noticing or being overly concerned about the danger they may pose. Those products pass through pipelines, are carried over the railroad tracks, and are loaded in tanker trucks.

However, in recent years there have been reminders of the very real dangers some products pose for area residents. That threat demands that communities and the county have plans in place if an accident occurs that then creates an immediate threat to the health and very lives of residents...

 

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!

Wed
19
Feb
admin's picture

Hazard mitigation plan needed if disaster strikes

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Every five years Swift County is required to update its All-Hazard Mitigation plan. It is an immense 516-page document that covers all the potential disasters that could adversely affect the people and buildings in the county.

The plan assesses the threats, their potential for damage, and puts in place plans for addressing the threats. At its meeting Feb. 4, the Swift County Board of Commissioners adopted the latest version of the plan presented.

It is the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) that requires the county update its hazard mitigation plan every five years, Kirk Bustrom, a community development senior planner, with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (RDC) in Appleton, told commissioners. He worked on updating the plan with Swift County Emergency Management Director Bill McGeary...

 

Wed
12
Feb
admin's picture

County approves perpetual easement

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A perpetual easement for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Benson Township was approved by Swift County’s Board of Commissioners at their Feb. 4 meeting.

It includes about 32 acres of the property in Section 17 of Benson Township. Derek and Tom VanderWeyst were at the meeting representing the land’s owners. It is just northeast of Lake John on the south side of Swift County Road 22.

 

This easement allows him to hay the property after July 15, but the property has to maintain the vegetative cover and the wetland is protected. It has historically been a pasture with some agricultural uses, Blake Knisley, real estate specialist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, told commissioners. 

The landowner will retain primary responsibility for weed control, recreational use, access, and will continue to be responsible for the payment of property taxes...

 

Wed
12
Feb
admin's picture

SCBHS updates county on need for debt refinancing

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Saving $250,000 in interest payments every year would significantly improve the bottom line of Swift County-Benson Health Services.

To get that savings, SCBHS would have to refinance its $7.5 million debt associated with construction of Scandi Haven Village, the $6 million general obligation bonds from 2014 and the $2 million in general obligation bonds from 2013.

At the Swift County Board of Commissioners meeting Feb. 4, Co-SCBHS Administrators Melissa McGinty-Thompson and Dan Enderson explained how refinancing the $15.3 million debt could then greatly reduce the interest on those loans.

CentraCare Health, which through its affiliate Carris Health is now managing SCBHS, has said that it would come back to the governing board at its Feb. 24 meeting with possible options for refinancing the debt. It has not said how that refinancing would take place...

 

Wed
12
Feb
admin's picture

Countryside prepared if coronavirus diagnosed in area

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

For the first few weeks that the coronavirus was making headlines, the stories of the new deadly virus were limited to the fight in China; then it began spreading around the world including to the United States.

In early February, a case of coronavirus was confirmed in neighboring Wisconsin as the total number of cases in the U.S. rose to 12. One U.S. citizen has died from the virus, but she was in China at the time.

Monday it was reported that 97 people died in China on Sunday alone from the respiratory disease, which causes pneumonia like symptoms.

While Minnesota has yet to see a case of the new coronavirus, its state and local medical agencies are gearing up to address the disease should it spread here.

Wed
05
Feb
admin's picture

County, city backing on revenue bonds could save SCBHS $250,000 a year

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Swift County-Benson Health Services could improve its bottom line by as much as $250,000 annually through refinancing its debt. However, doing so is complicated and politically challenging.

Currently, SCBHS has $15.3 million in debt.  This past year, $7.3 million in debt was added with the construction of Scandi Haven Village. It added to the $2 million in bond debt it had from construction of the new clinic and physical therapy area in 2013. There is also $6 million in debt tied to bonds sold in 2007 for the surgical center and north entrance lobby remodeling that were refinanced in 2014 to get a lower interest rate...

 

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!

Wed
05
Feb
admin's picture

SCBHS reaffirms its commitment to CentraCare

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Saturday morning members of the Swift County-Benson Health Services Board of Governors sat down with CentraCare/Carris Health representatives to review just what had happened at its Dec. 12 meeting.

With the board and CentraCare/Carris representatives also discussing the future of health care, the meeting went on for over three hours.

As the board met in December, it was expecting to sign an operating agreement with CentraCare that would see the assets and operations of SCBHS become part of the St. Cloud based regional health care provider. However, rather than signing the agreement that had been developed over the past year, the board was told the deal was off...

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News