By Mike Petersen
Sports Editor & Staff Writer 

'Drop the whole thing'

No changes will be made to Royal’s water ordinance


October 26, 2023

As far as the Royal City Council is concerned, language in place designating Iowa Lakes Regional Water (ILRW) as the operator of the community’s water utility is all that is needed to govern the relationship.

During the Oct. 11 council meeting, Mayor Josh Toft said his discussions with ILRW CEO Brad Veit and City Attorney Jill Davis confirmed that Royal’s water ordinance does not have to be revised.

“We do not have to do anything,” he said.

Extensive amendments to Royal’s water ordinance were recommended in September by ILRW’s attorney. According to Toft, however, Veit feels the language of the contract approved in May is sufficient.

“He is very fine with what we have. The contract is much more important than the ordinance,” Toft explained. “The ordinance only affects town business.”

The council held the final reading of the updated water ordinance in August. Its language states that all rules, regulations and charges for the water utility are governed by ILRW.

Toft recommended that the council “drop the whole thing.”

“Absolutely,” responded Council Member Jeff Van Westen.

• Air conditioning, fuel storage

The council again tabled action to replace an air conditioning unit for the community center. The larger unit that cools the main room of the building stopped working properly late in the summer.

Action was tabled in September with the intention of obtaining one more bid. A proposal was not submitted in time for this month’s meeting. Options for converting the system to one cooling unit or replacing all of the HVAC equipment will be investigated further.

Maintenance Superintendent Sherman Nielsen said a decision should be made by the end of the year to assure delivery and installation of the units by next summer.

Also following up on previous discussion, City Clerk Barb Fletcher reported she had spoken with Simmering-Cory Consultants about grant writing services. The firm is willing to assist the city but wants to meet with the council to discuss funding options. The council agreed to keep the possibility in mind.

Royal may be able to pursue Surface Transportation Program (STP) funding for major street repairs. Any proposed project would have to meet federal eligibility requirements.

The possibility of the city having its own fuel storage will be explored further. Nielsen had earlier suggested the idea as a way of controlling the fuel blend, depending on the season. The fire department could also obtain diesel from the city’s supply.

It was also suggested the city have tanks for both diesel and gasoline. Nielsen said most of the city’s equipment is fueled by gasoline while much of the fire department’s uses diesel.

“I think it is good to have the diesel and the gas. Let’s do it,” said Council Member Jim Virelli.


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