(Sidney) -- Visitors to next summer's Sidney Championship Rodeo could see a new water tower.
Construction of the new tower moved closer to reality recently. Sidney's City Council Monday night learned that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources finally granted a construction permit for the new structure next to the city's rodeo grounds. Sidney Mayor Peter Johnson tells KMA New the permit was the final hurdle toward erecting the tower.
"We will be looking at bids here in mid-October," said Johnson. "We will hope that we can get some of the main groundwork done with the concrete, here, before the ground gets frozen this winter. But, regardless, I think it's a pretty straightforward process."
If all goes well, the mayor says the new tower will be finished by next summer. Johnson says the main stumbling block concerned the DNR's request for the city to memorialize the historical significance of the existing tower, which has stood for more than a hundred years.
"Part of the hurdle was what form would that take," he said. "It was decided that pictures or some type of memorial of some type would work, or some kid of a plaque. But, we'll figure out some way that the current tower is remembered."
However, Johnson says saving the old structure, itself, is not possible.
"As far as saving the tower," said Johnson, "there have been other ideas about saving the tank, or other things like that. We won't be doing that, but we will be honoring it in some other way--maybe including a plaque or a stone out there with an image."
No exact timeline for the new tower's construction is set. Johnson says other portions of the city's massive water infrastructure project is on schedule. The mayor says new water transmission lines were recently installed in town. In addition, construction of Sidney's new water treatment plant is expected to begin this week.