Chamber to hold Holiday Lighting Contest

December 19, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
At the December meeting of the Lake Benton Chamber of Commerce, it was decided that a Holiday Lighting Contest will be held in town this year. The date for the judging was set for the evening of Friday, Dec. 20. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to remember to turn on their lights and decorations on that evening. The contest will be sponsored by the OtterTail Power Company, and awards will be given for first, second and third place.
The members discussed the visitor’s guides for 2014 at the meeting. A quote from Buffalo Ridge Newspapers for printing the guides was approved. The motion was to accept the quote of $4,405 for the printing of 5,000 copies.

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

Holiday show at the Opera House

December 12, 2013

Opera House Christmas Show 2

The chorus sang joyously during the Opera House Christmas Show this past Saturday in Lake Benton.

Frosty the Snowman

Benjamin Engels, left, and Maxwell Fleet performed a rousing rendition of “Frosty the Snowman” during the Opera House Christmas Show this past Saturday.

Winter concert held at Elkton-Lake Benton School

December 12, 2013

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The Elkton-Lake Benton High School Choir girls sang “Jingle Bell Rock” as part of the Winter Concert held on Thursday, Dec. 5.

By Nancy Mulder
lbnews@itctel.com

 
The Elkton Elementary and the Elkton-Lake Benton Junior and Senior High Schools presented their winter music concert on Thursday, Dec. 5 in the school gymnasium. The gymnasium was packed again this year for the concert.
The auditorium was arrayed with beautiful poinsettias to get everyone in the mood for the winter concert. Principal Kelly Neill welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.
The evening began with the fifth grade band playing two numbers, “Jingle Bells” and “Good King Wenceslas.”
Then it was the kindergarten through third grade classes’ time to shine. The first song was “Rather Jolly Olde St. Nicholas,” in which the fourth graders played their recorders along with the singing. They also sang “The Friendly Beasts” and “Christmas Makes Me Smile.”
Next, the sixth grade band played “We Wish You a Coolcat Christmas.”

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

County looks at Sheriff’s Office expansion

December 12, 2013

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 
The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners has approved the hiring of Baldridge & Nelson Architects out of Sioux Falls, S.D. at a rate of $3,500 to provide the board with an initial conceptual design and cost estimate for the proposed expansion of the Sheriff’s Office in Ivanhoe.
Discussions pertaining to this expansion have been ongoing for months now between Lincoln County Sheriff Jack Vizecky, Lincoln County Emergency Manager Jeanna Sommers and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners.
“We are working together on an expansion, not to have two separate areas, but to have one joint area,” said Sommers. “We want a multi-purpose area that we can use together so that it can be used to its utmost potential and not just be something sitting there.”

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

Emergency Management in Lincoln Co.

December 6, 2013

Emergency!
L i n c o l n County Emergency Manager Jeanna Sommers is pictured here working in her office in Ivanhoe.

By Steven J. Hurd
lbvjeditor@gmail.com

 

In June 2011, Jeanna Sommers began her duties as Lincoln County’s Emergency Manager. One month later, Sommers was forced into action when the area was struck by a powerful storm that caused widespread destruction throughout the county.
“I was a month in when the tornado went through in the summer of 2011,” said Sommers. “I was still getting to know the area and I had to coordinate response efforts.”
Being put into the thick of it right out of the gate was not an ideal situation for a new emergency manager, but the incident did have its advantages.
“It was right away and I made a lot of relationships,” said Sommers. “I got to know the fire department and EMS groups in Tyler pretty well and those relationships grew from there.”

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

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.