Sidney water tower

Sidney water tower

(Sidney) -- Efforts to construct a new water tower in Sidney are still bogged down in paperwork.

City officials await the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' approval of construction permits for a structure that would replace the existing, iconic tower located near the Sidney Rodeo Grounds. In a recent interview with KMA News, Sidney Mayor Paul Hutt says approval hinges on the old tower's status as a historic structure.

"We can't get a clear answer on the historical value of our existing water tower," said Hutt. "If there is historical value, how do they intend to preserve it? If we can get those things nailed down, we can move forward on those. We'd still like to get some bidlettings out, and get the ball rolling. Everything is ready to go and in place, as soon as we get the authorization from the DNR."

Hutt says a new tower is needed for a number of reasons. Among other things, Hutt says the existing structure is unsafe for workers to climb.

"While we're not afraid of anything catastrophic happening," he said, "it is of an age to where it needs attention. It has been in a number of rodeo pictures, and is iconic for the town. But, it has passed its life expectancy for quite a while. We look forward to having a tower that increases its capacity. Hopefully, we get a little more added pressure out of that system."

In addition to increased water pressure for residents, the mayor says a new tower would be easier to maintain.

"With a no-climbing order, you can't paint," said Hutt. "You have to hire companies that have cranes and that sort of thing to do any work. It just makes things more expensive than they normally would be, and they're not cheap already."

Construction of the new tower is just one portion of the city's multimillion dollar water infrastructure renovation project--some of which was completed this year.