City of Royalton taking bids on ‘antique building’ property

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

The city of Royalton became the owner of the old “antique building” on the corner of Highway 10 and Centre Street at its Council meeting, Tuesday.

The City Council, with member Al Libke absent, voted unanimously to approve the purchase of the tax-forfeited property from Morrison County for $5,000 plus closing costs.

A resolution was then presented to the Council to sell the property to former Royalton resident Dayle Tenney for the same $5,000 plus costs.

“We are thinking of having retail on the first floor and a rental or two or three on the second floor to carry it,” Tenney said.

Mayor Andrea Lauer informed the Council that several people had called the city during past months and asked about the building.

“Business people have been approached asking if they would like to buy it,” Lauer said.

Tenney was the only person the city spoke with who expressed an interest and then followed through with the city, Lauer said.

Council Member Ron Verley disagreed with the proposed sale, however, saying that the city should advertise the property. Verley said he had not known that the city would be selling the property until the Council meeting.

“Rather than giving the property away, it should be a contracted deal with an approved plan, like when we sold the flower shop property,” said Verley. “It should be published in the paper that people should submit a plan with a minimum bid of $5,000 plus fees.”

Verley recounted the procedure used when the city accepted bids from an insurance office and Buds and Blossoms owner Jill Vannurden.

“The bids were the same, but we liked her plan better and we chose Jill,” Verley said. “This is going to be right on the highway; what it looks like is important to us.”

The Council voted to approve the advertisement of the sale. Bids are due to the city by Tuesday, Nov. 26 for a decision when the Council meets in December. Proposals should include a design and a letter of intent for the property along with a timeline for demolition of the building or its refurbishment.

“The determining factors will be partially the price and partially what the plan is for the property,” said City Engineer Les Mateffy.

“We have to make it legally binding that they will complete the building they are proposing,” Verley said.

Royalton City Council Briefs

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

• Approving a bid of $541.13 from Nordlund Repair for tires for the Public Works Department pickup;

• Approving payment of a $225 fee for Lee Popp to attend Minnesota Rural Water Association water specialist training;

• Approving the purchase of an opticon for the new fire truck, which allows firefighters to change red lights to green, at a cost of $300;

• Tabling a decision on whether to install an additional six inches of blown-in insulation to the Fire Hall attic, pending the receipt of two more bids;

• Approving the consideration of revocation of a rental license to Winscher for property at 605 Evergreen Street at the November Council meeting. The property was inspected earlier this year after the city received complaints. After sending letters to Winscher dated July 27 and Aug. 30, City Inspector Nancy Scott never received a request to reinspect the property. Winscher reported to the Council that the property has been sold. “We still need to do this to cover ourselves in case the transaction falls through,” said Mayor Andrea Lauer;

• Approving the revocation of Carly Winscher’s  rental licenses for property at 635 N. Birch Street and 509 E. Centre Street. Winscher reported to the Council that the properties have been sold;

• Tabling discussion on the outdoor music policy pending revisions to the policy;

• Approving a request for proposal for a city auditor;

• Approving a quote for 10 lighted holiday decorations and 20 banners from Northern Lights Display in Eden Prairie for $4,534;

• Approving a bid from Starry Electric for $2,156 to install 10 Christmas lighting receptacles;

• Approving the conversion of all credit transactions to Payment Services Network, which will also include accepting payments online, as well as purchasing the software module necessary to process the transactions. “The monthly fees will vary, although a reasonable estimate is about $130,” said City Clerk Carol Madsen; and

• Approving a grant agreement to put the Royalton Banner newspaper issues on microfilm. “A microfilm reader will be covered by a different grant application,” said Council Member Ed Zimny.

The next Royalton City Council meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the City Complex.

Public input on the right of way ordinance will be heard at that meeting at 7:15 p.m.