The Hartley Sentinel-The Everly/Royal News - Serving O'Brien & Clay Counties

By Mike Petersen
Sports Editor & Staff Writer 

Lighting to be replaced in Royal Community Building

Council defers action on new street to Royalty Addition


April 22, 2021

The Royal City Council approved one project during its meeting on April 14, but after lengthy discussion, decided not to move forward with another.

Rather than replacing ballasts for outdated lighting in the community building, the council voted to replace it with LED lights.

According to discussion, replacing all lighting in the building will cost approximately $1,500. Refitting the entire building depends on whether the city qualifies for a rebate through Alliant Energy.

“If there is an Alliant rebate, it would make sense to do them all at once,” said Maintenance Superintendent Sherman Nielsen. “It doesn’t make sense to put in new ballasts. It will cost more than doing the whole thing.”

Without a rebate, only lighting in the office, main room and library would be replaced at this time.

Necessary materials will be purchased from Echo Electrical Supply. Installation will be done locally.

“It’s something we can pretty much do ourselves and save the price of having someone else do it,” Mayor Josh Toft said.

According to discussion, based on energy costs alone the city should recoup its investment in approximately 17 months.

• Street plans put on hold

Council members also considered options for a street that would provide another access to the Royalty Addition in east Royal. The location under discussion is north of The Great Hall of Royal, extending east from 1st Avenue (M36) to King Avenue.

Nielsen said the city can purchase crushed concrete from AgPartners Inc. at $8 per ton. That is nearly half what crushed concrete has cost in the past. He estimated that 200 tons would be needed to create a street surfaced with that material. Sod removal and other expenses would increase the overall cost to approximately $5,000.

“If we use crushed concrete, now is the time to get it,” Nielsen said. “The downside is that it’s going to be crushed concrete. Will we be OK with it being a dusty road until we can afford to pour concrete?”

Nielsen also provided information regarding the cost for a concrete street. Concrete for the street would cost approximately $40,000. That does not include any other expenses related to completing the 330-foot long street.

Council members decided against constructing the street at this time.

“We own the property. We can do it any time we want to,” said Council Member Matt Goyette.

To take advantage of the low cost, the city will purchase 200 tons of crushed concrete from AgPartners. It will be stockpiled for use throughout the city.

“That will last us a long time,” said Council Member Laef Lundbeck.

• Tree planting to resume

The city is ready to resume the tree planting program. Royal received a Trees Forever grant of $2,630 in early 2020, but trees were not planted due to dry conditions.

Del’s Garden Center will be contacted regarding the availability of trees, and Clay Central/Everly Elementary will be asked if students could help plant them.

“It will be nice to get back on that. It’s been a while,” Toft said.

• Fun Days donation, tire collection

Council members approved a $500 donation to Royal Fun Days. The event is scheduled for July 16-18.

Discussion was held about collecting tires in conjunction with cleanup day. Council Member Jeff Van Westen contacted Vander Haag’s regarding what they charge to take old tires, but he had not received a response. The consensus was to include tires, if possible, in the collection on April 26.

Thirty-seven first reminders were sent to residents whose properties were found to be in violation of Royal’s nuisance ordinance. Further discussion led to the council directing City Clerk Barb Fletcher to send a notice regarding a tree that is considered hazardous.

Building permits were issued for projects at 101 Park Street and 406 Long Street.

Approximately 50 utility customers have provided telephone numbers that Iowa Lakes Regional Water can contact in the event of water utility emergencies. Fletcher expects to receive additional responses this month.


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