The City of Lake Benton declares a state of emergency

March 27, 2020

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The Lake Benton City Council met via conference call on Monday. They determined that all public meetings by city entities will be cancelled or conducted via non-contact methods, such as conference call or email, until further notice.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council met for a special meeting via conference call on Monday, March 23. All council members were present, as well as City Administrator/Clerk Eileen Christensen and City Maintenance Manager Todd Draper.
Discussion of the sale of two lots owned by the city began immediately. An individual approached the city with the intent to purchase two lots in the Giles-Mork subdivision…

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

Commissioners approve law enforcement pact with Lake Benton

March 27, 2020

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Lake Benton City Administrator Eileen Christensen and Lake Benton Trustee David Enke spoke to the county commissioners last week.

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

The Lincoln County Commissioners met with representatives from Lake Benton on March 17 to discuss a new law enforcement partnership between their city and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. Commis­sioner Jack Vizecky was present by speakerphone. Lake Benton City Council Member David Enke and City Administrator Eileen Christensen were on hand at the meeting. Enke told the commissioners that the contract was approved on the previous evening at the Lake Benton City Council meeting.
“We’re thankful for the time spent by Sheriff (Chad) Meester to pre­pare that contract as well as everyone else who was involved with that,” Enke said. “We’re here this morning to present that contract for approval from the commissioners.”

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

City dissolves police department

March 18, 2020

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City Administrator/Clerk Eileen Christensen and Mayor Bob Worth.

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council approved a revised law enforcement contract with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department to provide services to the City of Lake Benton. Trustee David Enke was designated to represent the city at Tuesday morning’s Lincoln County Commissioners meeting.
“We’re first on the agenda,” Enke said.
The council also approved disbanding the Lake Benton Police Department pending the approval of the contract by the county commissioners. They also passed a motion to accept the resignation of Police Chief Jeff Baumgarner.

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

County parks equipment and grant funds discussed

March 12, 2020

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Vince Robinson of DSI spoke to the board concerning the Legacy grant for Hole-in-the-Mountain County Park.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met for their reg­ular meeting on Tuesday, March 3. All commissioners were pres­ent for the meeting.
Lincoln County Environmental Officer Robert Olsen reported to the board that the Lake Benton Lake Improvement District re­ceived an invasive species man­agement grant from the DNR for $7,000. The grant funds are lower than what was received in previous years, but the $7,000 in grant funds will help with the treatments for curly leaf pond­weed (CLP). Olsen said the En­vironmental Department will be on Lake Benton Lake checking the CLP infestation as soon as the ice is off the lake. “We know from ice-fishing reports that the curly leaf is prevalent in the east­ern end of the lake again,” Olsen said. That area was treated last year, but, according to Olsen, it can take several years to bring the infestation of CLP under con­trol due to the number of seeds in the sediment.

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

Helping NextEra Energy Resources help Lincoln County

March 12, 2020

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Photo courtesy of NextEra Energy Resources
Lincoln County residents can help NextEra Energy Resources help Lincoln County by showing support of the proposed wind farm between Lake Benton and Tyler through a variety of ways.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

At the Feb. 26 Lincoln County Commissioners meeting, Danell Hertzig of NextEra Energy Re­sources commented on frus­trations the company is expe­riencing in the planning and development of a new wind energy farm west of Lake Ben­ton. The frustrations involve the regulations and costs associ­ated with adding new power to an existing grid. The potentially excessive costs could delay the project, which would delay the revenue generated for the local economy. Lincoln County resi­dents can help to resolve these problems.
NextEra Energy Resources is a wholesale power generation company that delivers clean, re­newable energy to much of the North American continent. “We develop, construct and operate power projects to produce elec­tricity,” their website explains, “We market electricity to whole­sale customers and invest in critical infrastructure for power delivery. We also offer a variety of energy-related products and services to customers across the country. Equally important, we are dedicated to quality, com­mitted to environmental stew­ardship and care about our com­munities.”

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

City of Lake Benton will consider setting a Quiet Zone

March 5, 2020

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Curtis Rethwisch asked the city council to consider designating Lake Benton as a Quiet Zone during nighttime hours.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council met for their regular meeting on Monday, March 2. All trustees were present for the meeting.
Discussion began with a request from an individual to borrow funds from the city’s revolving loan fund. According to the discussion, the individual has received a rehabilitation grant but an unexpected expense came up outside the grant funds. The individual would repay the loan with interest over a five-year period. The request was granted.

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

Draft of law enforcement contract discussed by the city

February 27, 2020

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The trustees met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, due to the Presidents Day holiday.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton City Council met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18. In the absence of Mayor Bob Worth, Trustee Rosie DeZeeuw led the meeting.
Following approval of the minutes of the previous meeting and the claims against the city, the board discussed a draft of the contract with Lincoln County for law enforcement services. According to Trustee Dave Enke, the City of Lake Benton will contract for 24 hours of service a week for $45 an hour, all inclusive. The initial contract will be for 2.5 years, at which time the contract will be renegotiated…

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

Fire Department and First Responders annual meeting held

February 27, 2020

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The Lake Benton Fire Department and the Lake Benton First Responders held their annual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20. A nice crowd of township representatives were present for the meeting.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lake Benton Emergency Responders met with area townships on Thursday, Feb. 20, to present their annual reports and approve the township contracts for fire coverage. Representatives from the Lake Benton Fire Department, Lake Benton First Responders and Lake Benton City Council were present. Representatives from the following townships were also present: Altona – two representatives, Ash Lake – three representatives, Diamond Lake – five representatives, Drammen – two representatives, Fountain Prairie – zero representatives, Lake Benton Township – three representatives, Shaokatan – two representatives and Verdi Township – four representatives.
Fire Chief Scott Christensen presented the financial and police chief report for 2019. According to Christensen, the fire department revenues totaled $75,000 and the expenses totaled $45,718.55. The department was able to reduce their budget for 2020 due to extra earnings in 2019. According to Christensen, the department is on track to purchase a new truck in 2029, and will pay for it without bonding.

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

Counting on you being counted

February 27, 2020

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Census Day is scheduled for April 1, 2020.

By Mark Wilmes
tributeeditor@gmail.com

 
Census Day is fast approaching in the United States. Cities, counties and states will be getting out the information on how vital an accurate count is to everything in your everyday lives. Ron Skjong of Tyler has been hired through a grant obtained by the YMCA in Marshall to help get the word out, dispel misinformation and help area residents understand the process.
“We are targeting not only the general population but also the minority population, as they are typically undercounted,” Skjong said. “The last census, an estimate of around 17% of the people in Lincoln County did not get counted. That means a huge loss of federal funding dollars. Marshall was undercounted by an estimated 2,900 people in the last census.”

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

NextEra Energy speaks to the board about challenges for Lincoln County project

February 27, 2020

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Lincoln County Environmental Officer Robert Olsen presented the annual ditch report to the county board.

By Shelly Finzen
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners met for their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18. All commissioners were present for the meeting.
Lincoln County Engineer Joe Wilson reported that the department continues to work on planning and permitting for the bridge projects and other road projects scheduled for 2020.
The department was able to complete some bridge repairs and maintenance on equipment. They plan to use the county’s snowblower to clear snow from shoulders along county highways and roads to help prevent drifting.

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