Opera House presents Christmas Show Saturday

December 6, 2013

LB IMG_3145
Performers are pictured singing a group number during the 2012 Lake Benton Opera House Christmas Show.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The 17th annual Opera House Christmas Show will be presented in Lake Benton this Saturday, Dec. 7 with shows at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
There will be a total of 42 area participants performing solos, small group numbers and chorus selections.
“We have a show packed with talented people, most of whom you’ve seen in past Opera House shows,” said Opera House President Mark Wilmes.
“There will be many songs of the season, old and new.”
It is an all-day event for the performers, which will include a rehearsal in the morning, two shows, lots of food and a movie thrown in for good measure.
“This is our 17th annual show and serves as an Opera House benefit to help get us through the winter months,” said Wilmes. “Hundreds of volunteer hours go into the production.”
Tickets are are available at the door.

City does not increase tax levy

December 6, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council agreed not to increase the 2014 tax levy at their truth-in-taxation hearing during their first December meeting this past Monday.
The council approved a $140,000 levy for the city’s general fund, which is a zero-percent increase to the taxpayers.
Mayor Mike Carpenter provided the council with his mayoral report and mentioned that the one-year warranty for the library expansion is nearly up. As such, Rural Development will be coming to inspect the library for any necessary fixes before the warranty is up.
The final topic discussed was the issue of the bushes surrounding the memorial outside of the community center becoming overgrown. The council will consult a professional and take the necessary action following that consultation.

St. John’s to present Advent Concert Wednesday Dec. 4

November 29, 2013

Choir
Pictured above are the area chorale members who made it to rehearsal this past Sunday at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Lake Benton.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
St. John’s Lutheran Church of Lake Benton will be hosting an Advent Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
The chorale has been rehearsing throughout the month of November in order to prepare for the special evening of inspiring music.
Barb Trageser, who has been directing the St. John’s choir off and on for nearly 20 years, explained how the concert came about with the help of other area WELS churches.
“I kind of always wanted to have concerts in our church, but we’ve had such small groups. In fact, all the area churches around here are small,” said Trageser. “So when I brought it up to the other choir members, they were excited about it. They were the ones who suggested that we invite the other area WELS churches to join in with us and we’ve really had a wonderful turnout.”

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

AES sale is pending

November 29, 2013

AES
The AES facility is located west of town at the top of the hill on Highway 14. The sale of this site is currently pending.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The sale of AES in Lake Benton to ALLETE, Inc. is currently under negotiation.
Under the acquisition agreement, Allete Clean Energy [ACE] would obtain AES’ operation of wind energy projects in Lake Benton. The acquisition agreement also includes sites in Iowa and Oregon for a total purchasing price of $27 million.
Lake Benton’s AES Site Manager Mike DeVries explained that the sale is not exactly news to him.
“We’ve been dealing with this since June,” said DeVries. “They [ALLETE] have been looking at production numbers, financials, budgets for the next few years and things like that.”
The sale is not final as of yet, but the deal should be closed soon.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

School to update geo-thermal software

November 29, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
At the November meeting, Certified Public Accountant Daryl Kanthak of Meulebroeck, Taubert & Co., PLLP provided the Lake Benton School Board with its independent auditor’s report for the year ending June 30, 2013. After some explanation by Kanthak, the board approved the report.
The board then approved the payment of bills in the amount of $141,700.
Next, the board unanimously approved a resolution for the Flexible Benefits Plan to replace Article II, paragraph 2.43 with the new definition for “spouse.” This change allows for benefits to be obtained by a spouse in a same-sex marriage.
The next issue discussed was the updating and maintenance of the geothermal mechanical management software. The current software is out of date and causes system crashes. Head Custodian Steve Bennett provided the board with three options. The board approved a service contract with Approved Equal for a one-time payment of $3,150 in order to update the geothermal system.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

Lincoln Co. is County of the Year

November 29, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Board of Directors from the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust has selected Lincoln County as the County of the Year. Lincoln County has distinguished itself in the areas of loss control, risk management, claims administration and responsiveness. The Board of Commissioners wish to extend their congratulations to all county workers who made this honor possible.
The board approved moving forward with the purchase of Pictometry software for use by various county entities. Pictometry can be described as the use of aerial photography in combination with a geographic information system that provides a composite aerial map. These maps can then be used for purposes such as measurement, location, assessment, planning and development.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

“Treasure Island” in Lake Benton

November 22, 2013

Arghh!
The cast and “crew” sang a jolly tune during the Children’s Theater production of “Treasure Island” this past Saturday at the Opera House in Lake Benton.

Lions collect shoes for a cause

November 22, 2013

Sole4Souls
The drop-off box for used soles pictured here is located at the east entrance of the Lake Benton School.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton Lions Club has begun collecting shoes throughout the month of November as part of their project to help Soles4Souls [S4S], an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty.
The Lions Club is aiding in the collection of new or used footwear in order to help provide shoes to the over 300 million children around the world without shoes.
You may be wondering where your donated shoes go after the Lions Club delivers them to S4S.
According to the group’s website, after sorting items in its national warehouse system, S4S sells the used shoes to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations. These both private and nonprofit companies are contracted to provide shipping, financing, inventory, training and other support to ultra-small businesses in countries like Haiti where there are virtually no jobs to generate personal income.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

A day not to be forgotten

November 22, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The events of that day are shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories abound, but the emotional impact of that day on the citizens of the United States was staggering. So, where were you when you found out that Kennedy had been shot?
“I was home baking cookies,” said Lois Zimmer. “Then my mother called and asked if I had a television on. I said no, and she said well, they just shot the president. I just sat down and sat there until I smelled my cookies burning.”
“I was at my sister’s house and we were just sitting down for dinner,” said Clara DeZeeuw. “Then it came over the radio.”

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.

2013 street projects wrap up

November 22, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
Todd Draper presented some good news to the Lake Benton City Council regarding money saved on the city’s street projects from 2013. A change order for a decrease in quantities was approved by the council. The decrease in quantities means that a total of $24,834 will be saved on the construction work that was done to Mork/Morton Street and Cottage Street.
The board then approved the final payment to A&C Excavating in the amount of $25,579.

For the full story, read this week’s Lake Benton Valley Journal.