Royalton recognized for stewardship of trees

by Jennie ZeitlerStaff Writer

named a Tree City USA, for the 17th consecutive year. There are more than 3,400 Tree City USA communities across the United States, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation.

The city also received the Growth Award for demonstrating environmental improvement and a higher level of tree care.

Tree Board members Paul Zimny and Bruce Retka presented a request to the City Council Tuesday, for the purchase of 15 bare root trees.

“We’ve ordered five honey locust, five maple and five Kentucky coffee trees,” said Zimny.

The trees will first be put in the city’s Missouri gravel bed to produce prolific root systems, greatly increasing the trees’ chances to survive and thrive.

“The high school will pay for four of the trees,” said Zimny.

The Council approved the purchase of the 15 trees, not to exceed $400.

Rather than setting one day for Arbor Day this year, the Tree Board will plant trees as time allows, due to the late season. Three black walnut trees were donated by Ed Zimny to be planted at the American Legion. A maple tree will also be planted at the Legion

The main tree-planting sites in the city are near the future splash park location, the softball fields near the high school and other areas of town as needed such as high-profile boulevard trees or replacement trees for homeowners where diseased trees were removed.

“We removed four Canada red chokecherry trees from Memorial Park because they were infected with black   knot fungus,” Zimny said.

“The knots form out on limbs, and should be removed about 6 – 12 inches down the limb,” Retka said.

The Tree Board completed a tree census of Royalton in 2012.

“The largest percentage of trees was bur oak,” Retka said. “We found some big healthy white fir trees that people may have thought were blue spruce. There are a lot of black walnut trees too.”

“We have to think about the future and those who come after us,” he said. “I think the work we’ve done will keep going in Royalton long after we’re gone.”


Other business that came before the Royalton City Council included:

• Approving the Fire Department’s request to order a wildland brush truck, to be built according to specifications by Howe and Howe Technologies Inc. in Waterboro, Maine, using a 1999 or newer model, not to exceed $90,000;

• Accepting the donation of a flag by the American Legion to replace a worn flag in Memorial Park;

• Approving the Fire Department contract with Langola Township as amended: striking out “$1,500 a year for the truck and equipment fund” and changing the fees per call to $350 for the first hour and $300 for each additional hour;

• Approving an animal permit request made by Julie Haldenwanger for three – five chickens (without roosters) housed in a backyard coop;

• Approving a gambling permit for the Lincoln Area Business Association to conduct a raffle during the Alzheimer’s Ride for the Mind, June 15;

• Approving a request by Sally Kloss to close North First Street between Highway 10 and North Birch Street during the Alzheimer’s Ride from June 15 at 8 a.m. to June 16 at 1 a.m.;

• Approving the Elementary School’s request to close Ivy Street May 20, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. for a dedication ceremony for an artwork memorial;

• Approving a request by the Elementary School to close North Second Street from North Birch Street to North Driftwood Street for the end-of-the-year party May 31, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.;

• Approving plans for the installation of a rain garden at the splash park, to be installed by the Soil and Water Conservation District;

• Agreeing to pave the parking lot at the splash park at the same time that Eighth Street Northwest is paved, or looking at the project again within the next five years unless funds become available prior to that time;

• Approving a request from the Lions Club to install playground equipment and grills at the splash park;

• Approving the annual lease by Rod Tiemann of land at the currently unused industrial park;

• Approving a one-year extended parts warranty with Indigo Signworks Inc. of Alexandria for the city’s electronic sign at $685;

• Approving applications for two grants for a microfilm reader and microfilm to preserve the Royalton Banner newspaper for the city’s museum. The items will be available at the Royalton Library;

• Approving spending up to $500 for the Platte River Day float;

• Approving the bid from Tri-City Paving for city overlay projects for $28,600, contingent upon no issues being found in the upcoming city water line survey;

• Approving a contract with Nancy Scott to inspect rental housing in the city according to the Uniform Housing Code for a base fee of $100 per unit and $50 each for multi-unit housing;

• Recognizing May as National Bike Safety Month;

• Approving the opening of the city’s compost site, on May 18 – 19;

• Learning that during the city’s cleanup day, 37 TVs were turned in, seven air conditioners, eight computers, 10 monitors and many more miscellaneous items;

• Approving a partial payment to Burski Excavating for work on the lift station for $70,982.35;

• Setting a public hearing regarding the amended subdivision ordinance for June 4, at 7:15 p.m.;

• Authorizing to obtain quotes for installation of a sidewalk along the west side of Driftwood from First Street to Centre Street. “The funds are in the street budget,” said Tim Majaski, planning and zoning.

The next Royalton City Council meeting will be Tuesday, June 4, at 7 p.m. in the city complex.