January 25, 2021

Cedar Street underpass to be 'shored up'

The Cedar Street underpass is in need of “shoring up” to prevent it’s complete closure, City Administrator Mike Taylor said during the Creston City Council meeting Tuesday via Zoom electronic platform.

The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement with Murphy Heavy Contracting to tear out and replace the shoring on the north side of the underpass for the amount of $44,570.

After deferring the issue during the last meeting, Taylor talked to Burlington Northern, which suggested the city continue with its efforts to fix the underpass. Council member Terry Freeman said Cedar Street underpass is considered nonessential by Burlington Northern.

Taylor said the underpass may need to be closed during the winter due to the difficulty of keeping it cleared.

Council member Matt Levine questioned spending money on an underpass that would be shut down anyway.

Both Taylor and Public Works director Kevin Kruse recommended continuing with the project. Stabilizing the underpass now could prevent a “complete collapse” Taylor said.

“At some point we’re going to have to shore it up unless we just keep it closed,” he said.

“It’s like everything, the longer you wait, the more it’s going to cost down the road,” Freeman said.

The new shoring will replace the old wooden walls with 34-foot steel sheet pilings and steel tiebacks connected to a secondary piling behind the wall to prevent the wall from pushing in in the future.

Uptown facade project

A $38,886 drawdown from the Iowa Economic Authority to the city of Creston for the uptown facade project was approved unanimously.

When questioned about the progress of the project, Taylor said it is on a three-year grant. Five or six of the buildings are approximately 70% finished. Two other buildings, A&G Steakhouse and the SICOG building are in need of significant repairs. Part of the bricks for A&G have been delivered, so there should be visible progress on those buildings in the next few weeks.

“We’re hoping to see some significant work within the next couple of weeks,” Mayor Gabe Carroll said. “We’ll notice a lot more going on. ... It should start moving along here pretty soon.”

Depot awnings

The historic canopies may be replaced on the Restored Creston Depot.

A study to design and estimate costs for the canopies was approved by the city council Tuesday. The study will cost the city $4,975, with part of the cost being covered by grants. Once the design is completed and approved, additional grants will be pursued to help cover the cost of installation.

RDG IA, an architecture planning and design firm, will use original drawings and historic photographs to design four canopies “as similar as possible” to the original structures and conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s guidelines for historic buildings.

The proposed canopies would be over the north entrances at the main door and the waiting room, the windows on the north side, and an L-shaped structure on the southwest corner to cover the south entrance and windows. Designs for the fourth canopy will include both full and partial coverage.

Public works building

A second architecture firm gave a presentation on the proposed public works building. Cory and Denny Sharp of FEH Design showed the council examples of buildings they have designed and explained how they would incorporate energy efficiency into their design.

FEH Design is a 122-year-old firm with an emphasis on public buildings and buildings for heavy duty equipment such as the one they designed for the Iowa Air National Guard.

In other council business:

• tax abatements were approved for Bartlett Properties at 1107 E. Howard St., 425 New York Ave. and 705 Hickory St. unanimously with no discussion.

• a resolution was passed unanimously to approve Calhoun-Burns and Associates to conduct bridge structure inspections. Taylor said this includes the Sycamore Street bridge, which is scheduled to be replaced, because the timing of the construction is not yet known.

• a change order of $1,391 was approved for scum pump additions to the waste water treatment plan improvements project unanimously with no discussion.

• the council unanimously authorized the hiring of a certified police officer to replace Sergeant Pat Henry who is retiring.

• a public hearing was set regarding Creston Area Food Pantry’s request for the city to vacate and sell a portion of South Division Street adjacent to 417 Wyoming. This request was previously tabled to allow for more information on the project.

• a resolution was passed to request reimbursement from the Iowa COVID-19 Relief Fund unanimously with no discussion.

• a fireworks permit application from Creston Shooters Pyrotechnic Association was approved for the Oct. 2 homecoming football game unanimously with no discussion.

• an extension of the Waste Management Contract was approved for $15.84 to avoid opening up the service for bids. Carroll said, from his contact with Waste Management, they would likely increase their rate in response to the higher numbers from the previous bidding.