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Benson City Council approves 2011 general fund, levy

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

BENSON -- The Benson City Council approved the 2011 general fund budget and tax levy at the regular meeting Tuesday.

As approved, the 2011 general fund budget includes revenues of $3,307,561 and expenditures of $3,107,535, with a reserve of $200,026, according to City Manager Rob Wolfington. In 2010, the city budgeted for general fund expenditures of $3,080,202.

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The council approved increasing the levy at the maximum rate of 8.1 percent, Wolfington said.

The actual increase may be reduced when the final levy is set, giving the city time to determine what it will receive in state funding and local government aid, he added.

The council set an open house from noon to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 20 for citizens to visit the city's water treatment facility near the golf course clubhouse to find out more about rehabilitation or replacement plans.

In addition, the council set aside time for a question-and-answer period at 5:30 p.m. at the City Council meeting that evening.

The council has been considering four options for rehabilitation or replacement of the city's two water treatment facilities, the 1930s-vintage facility near the city's power plant and the 1968-vintage plant at the golf course. Both plants were last refurbished in the 1980s.

The options include rehabilitating the golf course facility and reusing the existing filter systems, at a estimated cost of $1.18 million; rehabilitating the golf course facility and replacing the filter systems, at an estimated cost of $3.44 million; rehabilitating and adding on to the golf course facility and replacing the filters, at a estimated cost of $3.99 million; and building a new plant at the golf course, for an estimated cost of $5.88 million.

The council expects to make a decision at the Oct. 4 meeting, Wolfington said.

Then work would begin on planning and specifications, along with financing.

The physical work would start in the late summer or fall of 2011 and finish in the spring of 2012.

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West Central Tribune (320) 235-6769 customer support

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

(320) 214-4373
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