Royalton signs memo of understanding with SheerWind

Royalton City Complex
Royalton City Complex

by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer

Wind energy generation is one step closer to being a reality for Royalton. The city began investigating wind energy in earnest in 2012 when Mayor Andrea Lauer and Council Member Al Libke began meeting with SheerWind executives about a possible system in Royalton.

The City Council authorized Lauer to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SheerWind, Tuesday.

“This is not a contract, just an understanding,” said Libke. “This is for SheerWind to use to attract investors.”

SheerWind, of Chaska, develops, manufactures and sells wind power generation products using the Invelox technology developed in 2009.

“This MOU is the next step to firm the funding strategy and (move) the project forward,” the memorandum stated.

The proposed system in Royalton is projected to have a 200 kilowatt capacity, with possibly two 100-kilowatt generators. It uses a low-profile wind collection system, no taller than about 28 feet.

Under the proposed terms of the memorandum, the city would lease the meter and the land it occupies to investors.

“This is not a legal document,” Lauer said. “It’s only something used to talk to investors.”

Investors are not the only source of funding. The city has also received a grant through the Clean Energy Resource Team.

“The project has been awarded $4,000 to cover labor costs,” Lauer said.

Apart from an initial $25,000 paid to SheerWind for research and proposal, the remaining funding will be from investors.

Royalton City Council Briefs

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

• Approving an equipment lease agreement with South Side Sand and Gravel at $40 per hour for the use of a truck (without a driver) effective Dec. 5, 2013. “It’s a much nicer truck; it dumps snow very well,” said Council Member Ron Verley;

• Approving the 2014 Fire Department officers: Chief Duane Bursey, Deputy Chief Nathan Bellefeuille, Captain Adam Hellickson, Captain Steve Harren, Training Officer Travis Blais, Safety Officer Bill Tiemann and Secretary Tom Quinlan;

• Approving the 2014 First Response officers: President Karen Dubbin, Vice President Betsy Gerads, Secretary/Treasurer Becky Yackel and Training Officer Sue Oelrich;

• Approving the replacement of Fire Department radios lost in the fire at Gene’s Repair for $9,795.50 from Motorola. “Normally we would want three quotes, but Motorola has the contract,” said Mayor Andrea Lauer;

• Approving a Police Department expenditure of up to $1,200 from allocated funds for two new computers;

• Listening to an update from Deputy Clerk Michelle Stevens regarding residents paying bills online. “It was just put on the website and already we’ve had 24 people take advantage of that online. Five people called in and they paid online as we talked on the phone,” she said. “It’s been very successful;”

• Authorizing a conditional use permit for Lee Siegel of 608 N. Birch Street to allow Paul Knettel to add a residence to the business garage on Siegel’s corner property in anticipation of splitting the property for Knettel to purchase the building at 315 Maple Street; and

• Approved the city-authorized mileage reimbursement rate to remain at 46.5 cents per mile, despite the IRS rate increasing to 56 cents per mile.

Due to caucuses being held Tuesday, Feb. 4, the next Royalton City Council meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. at the City Complex.

The Council’s annual planning meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at the City Complex.

  • robin hensel

    good on you Royalton….always a step ahead of Little Falls…..Andrea, it is a good thing you actually have a vision for your city that includes conservation of the environment.