Royalton citizen ready and willing to work for growth

By Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer


Former township assessor, Post Office employee, developer of 19 parcels of land and owner of Mel’s on 10, Mel Oelrich is recommending a “concept of growth” to the city of Royalton.

Oelrich asked the City Council Tuesday for permission to form a committee to be more proactive in the community in encouraging growth.

“I’m looking for ideas,” Oelrich said. “We need to deal with facts. I don’t deal with personalities on my projects.”

Oelrich, who has been a Royalton resident for 61 years, was dismayed by the failure of yet another school levy.

He pointed out that there is a property in Royalton currently owing more than $18,400 in delinquent taxes.

“I have a five-year goal in mind,” said Oelrich. “It’s an investment.”

Oelrich proposes to focus on three main areas: 100 percent water and sewer hookup on properties within the city; resolving the unused buildings and tax-delinquent property issues; and getting sewer and water to the industrial park.

He proposed that the committee could have one Council member, one person from Planning and Zoning, another citizen and himself.

Mayor Andrea Lauer said, “The best thing would be for Mr. Oelrich to present these ideas to Planning and Zoning and to come back to the Council with their response.”

“I’m not looking for condemnation and I’m not looking for criticism,” he said. “I want Royalton to continue to be strong.”


City of Royalton moves forward with City Center refinancing

The Royalton City Council gave preliminary approval of the Capital Improvement Plan for 2012-2016 Tuesday.

David Drown of David Drown Associates explained the proposed refinancing of the City Complex.

“The city’s current interest rate is 5.5 percent and the new rate would be 2.1 percent. The city would save $70,535 over 10 years by refinancing the two current City Complex loans.

The Council approved a resolution providing for the issuance and sale of $486,000 General Obligation Capital Improvement Plan bonds to complete the refinancing.


Other business that came before the Royalton City Council Tuesday included:

• Hearing a request from the Fire and Rescue squads, that people decorating for Christmas at the end of their driveways not cover up the 911 number sign;

• Approving the closing of City Hall on Christmas Eve;

• Learning that the Police Department recently fingerprinted kindergartners and made a court appearance regarding the property at 116 N. Birch St.;

• Approving the adoption of a resolution certifying election results for the offices of two four-year Council Members as Ron Verley and Ed Zimny, and the two-year Council Member as Scott Walberg;

• Authorizing the city to apply for a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health for funding through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment for the sealing of well #1;

• Adopting the new Ordinance #27, Parks and Trails Board;

• Adopting Ordinance #34, Nuisance, as amended;

• Adopting Ordinance #45, administrative;

• Authorizing the city to have the alley between North Elm Street and Driftwood Street surveyed;

• Approving the hiring of Heidi Peper of Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) to write a grant on behalf of the city for a Safe Routes to School grant. Funds available are between $100,000 and $300,000;

• Discussing possible additional streetlight installation in the RiverEdge addition, especially along Cherry Lane and in the Platte Wood addition;

• Tabling the noise ordinance and 3.2 malt liquor ordinance pending further research;

• Approving Ordinance #22, gas franchise. The previous ordinance was in effect for 20 years, but Xcel Energy is renewing the agreement for 15 years;

• Hearing an update about the compost site being open the last three Saturdays in October from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. Rod Kuhlmey manned the gate all three days. He gave two suggestions for next fall — to be open on both Saturday and Sunday, and to stay open later in the day;

• Approving entering into a contract with Eutectics Consulting LLC to conduct a feasibility study before moving forward with any agreement with SheerWind. Eutectics will do a technical and financial assessment which will include a local wind survey; and

• Adopting a resolution certifying past due utility bills to the county for tax assessment. Five properties were included totalling $2,857.57.

The next regularly scheduled Royalton City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.