(Sidney) -- Finally, some good news regarding Sidney's extensive water service renovation work.
Sidney's City Council Monday night was informed that the public comment period for construction of a new water tower ends later this week. The comment period is part of a $384,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded for the tower last year. Sidney Mayor Paul Hutt tells KMA News the new tower would have a greater capacity than the existing century-old structure.
"Currently, we have a holding tank that's on the east side of town," said Hutt, "that we transfer water or pump water to our existing water tower. That helps with our capacity, as well as with our fire ratings if we could pump this tower out pretty quick, if we had a major fire here in town. So, it would be a larger tower, and it would also be taller. So, they anticipate higher water pressure in town, which would be welcome by all of our residents."
As another requirement of the grant award, Hutt says the city must acknowledge the existing tower's historical significance.
"We'll have to come up with a way to memorialize that water tower," he said, "due to a significant in historic value as they direct. But, once we cross that hurdle, I guess we'll be able to move forward with that, and take that bidletting, and start to move things down the road."
Once the comment period is over, Hutt says bidletting for the tower will move forward. The mayor adds the city is expected to receive a permit to construct the water treatment plant portion of the project in the next two weeks.
"They are signing off on the current revision of the plans right now," said Hutt. "With that, we'll be able to bid that portion, as well. Then in conjunction with our well project--which we've already taken bids on--we'll be able to get started on those."
Hutt says the plan is to construct the new treatment plant and new water wells at the same time.
"They want to run them at the same time," he said, "just because of the cost estimates. They want to see the total cost of the project. They don't want to get the cart in front of the horse on the well project, without seeing where we stand as far as the grant money that we have, plus the money we've already secured for the project. We don't want to run over."
Time is also a factor. While saying construction can begin as late as November, Hutt says it's more likely work will wait until next spring because of the weather. In other business, the council approved the appointment of Brandon Morgan to the city's park and recreation board.