Royalton Council votes down K-9 unit

It would cost approximately $81,000 to set up a K-9 unit within the Royalton Police Department. This would include the cost of the dog, a patrol car, training, equipment and supplies. Royalton Police Chief Adam Gunderson projected after the initial $81,000, it would cost approximately $5,380 a year to maintain the program.

Gunderson said the money for the K-9 program would be raised through donations. The entire process (raising funds, purchasing the dog, and training) would take approximately eight years, he said.

“I just think it will become a cost to the city. I have had numerous residents say there is no need for this,” said Council Member Kelly Warzecha.

“I have heard the same thing,” Mayor Andrea Lauer concurred.

Council Member Ron Verley said, “I have not heard anything positive about it from the residents.”

When those attending in the audience were polled by Gunderson, two said they thought it was a good idea but would be costly and two voiced no opinion.

The motion by Council Member Al Libke, seconded by Council Member Scott Walberg, to proceed with the fundraising failed on a 2-3 vote. Voting against were Lauer, Warzecha and Verley.

Royalton City Council Briefs

In other business Tuesday, the Royalton City Council:

  • Heard that before the city’s police officers can begin to use their body cameras, a public hearing must be held. The Council set Tuesday, June 6, at 7:15 p.m. for the hearing, which will give the public an opportunity to address the issue;
  • Approved a pay increase for Public Works Assistant Preston Zimny from $16.45 to $17.11 per hour;
  • Approved closing Second Street North Friday, June 2, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for the Royalton Elementary School’s annual end of the year picnic;
  • Appointed Leah Walberg as the city’s well head protection manager;
  • Heard the lead tests taken at four residences (two on South Cedar Street and two on South Second Street) came back with safe results. It was noted that while the South Cedar Street project would not be moving forward right away, the issue of the leaking water main will have to be addressed in the future;
  • Approved sending Police Officer Tom Franklin to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) training and auditing program. The cost is not to exceed $500;
  • Adopted a local government resolution business development infrastructure application for the industrial park,
  • Set Tuesday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. as the date and time for a planning meeting; and
  • Set a $500 budget for Platte River Day, which will be held Saturday, Aug. 5.

The next regular Royalton City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, June 6, at 7 p.m.