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Vote No on Benson school referendum

We are writing this letter to state why we are voting "No" on the 26 million dollar school referendum on August 14. We have been tax payers of school district 777 for over 40 years.

A city referendum was passed to build an indoor pool in the late 1970's. The intent was to have the children learn to swim and have swim teams and good physical exercise in the winter months, more than just two months in the summer.

We are for updating and maintenance of buildings for the school children to learn in a healthy environment, but not at the expense of us losing our indoor pool that is within the walls of the school. It was also for all the people of Benson. Big Stone Therapy now have to send their patients up to the Regional Fitness Center in Morris, which is 25 miles away, instead of going right here in town.

The indoor pool is a million dollar asset to our community and to pay $700,000.00 plus to fill it in and structure a gymnasium over the top is absolutely insane. Very Expensive Gym!!

Some years back a school administration and school board wanted to fill in the pool to be used for wrestling. The indoor pool has never been thought by many as an asset, but a liability. It has not been promoted. The people of area towns can not believe we have an indoor pool and there is so much effort to get rid of it.

It would be good to educate the students how to swim in the winter months besides for two months in the summer. Hundreds of people drown each year in the United States.

The outdoor pool is not a money maker either and has help from the city of Benson. Most assets to our community are not money makers. They need help in funding. I see the Benson city council is going to help out with the golf club. That is great! Swift County commissioners are going to help out for a veterans home in Chippewa County. That is great! Veterans need a place. But what about our indoor pool in Benson? We have it already! Benson city council had no money to help in maintenance. Swift County Commissioners could not spare a dime either. The district is not land-locked, why not construct a new gym, able to meet our community needs and not destroy an existing asset. Are all school programs operating within budget or is the indoor pool the only program being so analyzed?

We had approached the Benson school board a couple of years ago and offered to work on getting funding and grants, but no, we were only led to believe the pool is closing. Total craziness!

It is important to us to have healthy opportunities within the community and have used those facilities and with clients we work with in our profession.

We have seen a plan to make the indoor pool area a community center adding walking area, treadmills and weights.

We need to come up with a better plan.

Please vote for the kids and community.

Vote "No" on the school referendum on August 14.

This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.