News

Wed
12
Feb
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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...

 

Wed
05
Feb
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No dike to protect Hawleywood

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Due to a lack of interest on the part of a majority of residents of the Hawleywood subdivision in northwest Benson, the city will not pursue a permanent flood control solution.

The city had sent out surveys to gauge interest among the 28 homeowners who would be threatened by rising flood waters on the Chippewa River. Those surveys projected the costs for doing the project at just over $500,000. Homeowners would be assessed for half the cost with the city picking up the other half. The city would have also sought grants to lower the cost of the project...

 

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
29
Jan
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School going to voters April 14 for $1.5 million levy

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A resolution to go to the voters of District 777 for a $1.5 bond levy for “the construction and equipping of a multi-purpose facility to be used for the district’s gymnastics program and other school activities” was unanimously passed by the board of education Monday night.

The election is to take place Tuesday, April 14.

A cost estimate for construction of the 144-by-82-foot building presented by Breitbach Construction Co. put the price at $1.497 million. That price includes $30,000 for unexpected costs.

Breitbach is the company doing the new construction and renovations at the Benson High School and Northside Elementary School as part of a $26.3 million project...

 

Wed
29
Jan
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County wants to look at future of its dispatching

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

A proposal for a deeper look at Swift County dispatch services didn’t sit well last Tuesday with Sheriff John Holtz.

His reaction came in response to Swift County Board of Commissioner’s Chair Gary Hendrickx, District 1-Appleton, suggesting that a task force be established to look into county options for dispatching services.

“We have to keep our eyes open here as we look at it, but we also have our commitment to the public to have the best service we can at the best cost we can,” he said. If the decision is that the county stay with its current dispatching system, “that is fine, but if a change is needed, we have to have the conversation, too.”

Wed
29
Jan
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Ground Hog Day: More winter, or is spring on the way

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

We are not creeping out of the coldest days of winter, at least if you go by our annual average temperatures. And, in a few days, the furry prognosticator of the length of the winter days ahead will be giving his forecast. Ground Hog Day is Sunday.

Between Jan. 8 and Jan. 20 our highs average 19 degrees and our lows zero. These days represent the coldest average high temperature and coldest average low temperature we see in western Minnesota. We missed those averages this year – we were considerably colder.

The average high between Jan. 8 and Jan. 20 was 14.6 degrees and the average low a minus 5.3 degrees. Ten of the 14 days saw lows below zero including four days with double-digit sub-zero temperatures. The winter’s low of minus 20 was recorded Jan. 16 when we also saw our first below zero high of the winter – it only hit a minus 4 degrees that day...

 

Wed
22
Jan
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Peterson cautiously optimistic China deal will help out farmers

By Reed Anfinson
Publisher
Swift County Monitor-News

Emphasis on US exports, trade secrets in China trade deal

Editor’s note: This story by Associated Press reporters Kevin Freking and Paul Wiseman has information added by the Monitor-News on Rep. Collin Peterson’s thoughts on the trade deal.

The United States and China reached a trade deal last Wednesday that eases tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, offers massive export opportunities for U.S. farms and factories, and promises to do more to protect American trade secrets...

 

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!

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