News

Fri
27
Oct
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Collins, Flodstrom running for mayor; five seeking council seats

Tuesday, Nov. 7, City of Benson voters will go to the polls to elect a new mayor and two members to the council.

Council Member Terri Collins is running for mayor along with Anita Flodstrom.

Current Mayor Gary Landmark is not seeking re-election to a second term. He served 24 years as a member of the city council and is completing his first two-year term as mayor.

There are five candidates seeking election to the council: Incumbent Jack Evenson, Mark Schreck, Brad Johnson, Terry Flodstrom and Larry Smith. Council Member Stephanie Heinzig also is not seeking re-election. Council members serve four-year terms.

Thu
26
Oct
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School levy before voters Nov. 7 funds daily operations

There are three key points District 777’s Board of Education and administration would like to make about the upcoming operating levy vote that will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7:

First, it will not increase property taxes over their current levels since it doesn’t add a new tax, but simply maintains the current levy. In fact, taxes will actually drop by a few dollars.

Second, this levy does not apply to the vast majority of agricultural land in the county. It taxes only the house, garage and one acre of land. It also taxes residential, commercial and business properties. It is not levied on recreational property.

Third, if the levy is not approved it would mean substantial cuts in the courses and programs Benson Public Schools are able to offer its students.

Fri
20
Oct
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BIDC to expand focus

Since it was formed in the late 1950s to help Loren Tyler expand his Tyler Corporation of Benson for the manufacturing of liquid and dry fertilizer spreaders, the Benson Industrial Development Corporation (BIDC) has been working to facilitate economic development.

The private corporation raised funds in 1959 by selling $100 BIDC stock certificates. Since then, its investments in facilitating land and building expansions have helped it increase its fund balance through interest payments.

Because it is a private corporation, the BIDC has been able to work behind the scenes with entrepreneurs on projects. It has worked to secure land and buildings for businesses prior to them announcing their plans publically.  It has also been able to work with the Benson Economic Development Authority on economic development projects.

Fri
20
Oct
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August to October period already fourth wettest on record

The 2017 August to October period is already the fourth wettest on record and there are still 13 days left to go in the month.

With another 85 hundredths of an inch of rain Saturday, October’s total rainfall is now at 3 inches even. That is 74 hundredths above the month’s average of 2.26.

For the three-month period 13.87 inches of rain has fallen – that is 5.38 inches more than the average for August, September and October of 8.49 inches.

The wettest August to October period on record was in 1984 when 17.53 inches rain fell with October the wettest month receiving 8.71 inches of rain.

All that rain has been making harvesting crops this fall challenging with farmers harvesting around low areas with standing water and deep mud.

Fri
20
Oct
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Benson council election less than two weeks away

Benson’s Nov. 7 city council elections are approaching with two candidates seeking the mayor’s job and four vying for two seeks on the council.

Next week, the Swift County Monitor-News will publish a profile of each candidate along with his or her answers to key issues facing the community.

Council Member Terri Collins is running for mayor as is city resident Anita Flodstrom. Current Mayor Gary Landmark is not seeking re-election to a second term on the council. He previously served 24 years as a member of the city council. Benson’s mayor serves a two-year term.

Incumbent Jack Evenson has filed for a second four-year term on the council.  Mark Schreck, Larry Smith, Brad Johnson and Terry Flodstrom have also joined the race for the council’s two open seats. Council Member Stephanie Heinzig is not seeking re-election.

Fri
20
Oct
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Renovation of Swift County’s courthouse likely to go into March

Swift County’s extensive renovation is now expected to last into March of 2018, a month longer than expected.

While it was originally estimated that county employees would be moving back into the refurbished and remodeled courthouse early in 2018, that deadline has been extended.

It now looks like rather than moving back sometime in mid-February, it could be late March, Administrator Kelsey Baker said at the county board’s Oct. 3 meeting. Delays are due to getting the steel it needs for shoring up the new elevator shaft being installed at the east end of the courthouse and for other projects.

The county had been looking at refinishing the woodwork in the historic building, but the cost has come in too high. The courthouse was built in 1898 and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Baker said the lowest bid for the woodwork was $220,000 – those funds aren’t in the current budget.

So, it is likely the woodwork will be done piece by piece in the coming years with the project starting on the main floor.

Fri
20
Oct
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Blandin leadership program seeks local participants

Becky Adams of the Blandin Foundation speaks with volunteers who will help recruit candidates for its Community Leadership Program, as well as some volunteers who have already committed to participating. Blandin’s programs gives participants intensive training on how to become a community leader - and it pays the bill.

Eight-day program gives citizens skills to move their communities forward

 

Area residents interested in leadership roles that will help improve the communities they live and work in met last Wednesday at McKinney’s on Southside for an overview of the Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP.)

The meeting was attended by both prospective members of the program and local leaders helping recruit people to participate from the Benson, Murdock, Sunburg and Kerkhoven area. This is the first time BCLP training has been available for the Benson-KMS area.

Fri
06
Oct
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BHS Homecoming Parade

One of the BHS student groups passes by some area youth while handing out candy.

The BHS Homecoming Parade took place Friday afternoon along the traditional Memorial Day Parade route.  Pictured, one of the BHS student groups passes by some area youth while handing out candy. 

More pictures from the Homecoming Parade can be found inside the October 4, 2017 edition of the Swift County Monitor-News - pick one up today!

Fri
06
Oct
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Sustainable aquifers are everyone’s responsibility

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part story on the Benson area’s aquifers. Questions are also being raised about aquifers in the Appleton area as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources works on a comprehensive assessment of the state’s groundwater resources.

In one of its studies on groundwater in Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources says that the state is in “urgency room” not the “emergency room.”

“We haven’t got to a stage where we are out (of groundwater) yet. A stage where everyone is needing water and no one has it,” Area DNR Hydrologist Ethan Jenzen told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their meeting Sept. 5. “We are not California where they literally had to reduce their water use by 35 percent everywhere.”

Fri
06
Oct
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Benson recognized for hiring DAC workers

Benson City Manager tells DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler how much the city appreciates the quality work her people provide.

Nominated by Swift County Developmental Achievement Center (DAC) the City of Benson was named an Outstanding Disability Employer by the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation, MOHR.

Swift County DAC Executive Director Alethea Koehler presented the award to the city at the council’s meeting Monday night.

She told the council that the high visibility of these jobs brings a lot of positive feedback from the public, which is great for building morale among the individuals her organization serves.  “The supervisors and crews of the City of Benson always conduct business in a respectful way, and make it known that we are an integral part of how the town runs,” Koehler said.

Individuals with disabilities from the Swift County DAC in Benson help maintain the city’s image by mowing park areas, painting fire hydrants and other tasks.  They have also cleaned city offices and other properties, assembled meter boxes and stenciled safety cones.  

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