Second Xcel check set to come in June

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Two Minnesota legislative sessions over and, so far, there has been no concerted effort to undo the 2017 agreement that has the City of Benson being paid $20 million over four years for the loss of the Benson Power, LLC, power plant.

The city received its first $4 million payment last July. It is scheduled to receive another $6.5 million payment at the end of next month. A second $6.5 million payment is scheduled for payment June 30, 2020, and a final $3 million payment June 30, 2021.

Minnesota’s Legislature doesn’t officially adjourn until Thursday and no one who knows government ever assumes anything is set until the final gavels sound in both chambers.

Benson City Manager Rob Wolfington makes several trips to the Legislature each session to let lawmakers know that the city is keeping an eye on the funds it is receiving. It also retains lobbying firm Flaherty & Hood, P. of St. Paul to keep watch on legislation that could affect payments to the city.

It isn’t so much a worry that the funds won’t be paid, but that they could be delayed or stretched out as other interests seek a piece of the pie out of which the money is drawn.

Payments to Benson are coming from the Renewable Development Fund (RDF)...

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