Bensons looks to annex 240 acres of Torning Township

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The City of Benson has reached a preliminary agreement with Torning Township for the annexation of 240 acres of land south of town and on the east side of Minnesota Highway 29.

While discussions have taken place with Torning Township about the annexation, its board has yet to approve the agreement. It could be taking action in the next two weeks.

The land, owned by Alyn and Diane Sylte, has been discussed for the site of a cheese plant should that economic development project become a reality. There has been no word from any sources on whether or not the cheese plant is being discussed for the area. However, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic development has been working with an entity that is looking for a site for a cheese plant in the state.

Speculation about Benson being a possible site was spurred by the opening of Riverview, LLP’s, 9,500-head Louriston Township  dairy on the Swift-Chippewa county border and the approval of a new 9,500-head dairy six miles south of the city in Swenoda Township. Riverview owns other large dairies in the area.

At Monday night’s Benson City Council meeting, Mayor Terri Collins was given authority by the council to enter into an agreement with the township for the annexation. A resolution spelling out the terms of the annexation has to be drafted and signed by both the city and township.

One stipulation already in place is that the land has to be zoned for either industrial or commercial use.  Also, the land would remain governed by county zoning law until it is annexed to be used for commercial or industrial development.

The agreement states that the term of the annexation option is 15 years. Development of the property could take place in stages with a 60-arcre site designated next year, another 60 acres three years from now and 120 acres eight years from now....


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