Benson proposes $400,000 civic center renovation plan

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

A new proposal that would substantially reduce the cost of renovating the north end of the civic center for use by the Benson High School gymnastics program was presented to the Benson City Council Monday night.

By eliminating a viewing area and bathroom project, the cost of the renovation would be reduced from just over $500,000 to closer to $400,000. Removing the two parts of the project will not compromise the functionality of the north end of the civic center for its proposed uses, City Manager Rob Wolfington said.

 The city would also extend the period for the school district to pay off the renovation costs to seven years from five. That seven-year amortization of the debt would not include balloon payments as did the earlier $500,000 agreement. The $400,000 city loan would be at zero percent interest and be paid off through the annual payments over the seven years.

Under the earlier proposal, the school district would have made $50,000 annual payments for use of the facility for five years starting in the fall of 2020. It would also agree to make two $125,000 lump-sum payments in years four and five of the lease. The lease funds and the lump-sum payments would pay the city back for its $500,000 loan for civic center.

The school would be responsible for about $15,000 in utility costs for the six months it used the facility. The school district would sign the seven-year lease in the fall of 2020. The agreement would give it exclusive use of the north end of the civic center for six months...


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