City gets input on proposed dike
By Reed Anfinson, Editor, Publisher
Nearly 50 people gathered in the Benson Fire Hall Saturday morning to learn about the proposed construction of a dike around the northwest corner of the city.
It was also the chance for citizens to ask questions about the dike plans as well as give the Benson City Council their thoughts about whether the $300,000 dike project was needed or an unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money.
Based on the input it gathered Saturday, the council will be voting at its meeting Monday whether or not to proceed with a dike. That public meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers across from the utility billing counter.
Background on flood designation
In August 1984, FEMA placed Benson in what it then called its Flood Zone C.
“Information recently made available to the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicates that, for all practical purposes, your community would not be inundated by the base flood, which is the flooding having a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year,” a letter the city received from FEMA in May 1984 states.
Further, the letter says, “The entire community will be placed in Zone C, which has no mandatory (flood insurance) purchase requirement….”
In other words, Benson was not in the 100-year flood plain. FEMA did offer everyone in Benson flood insurance at a reduced rate, if they chose to get it.