May 23, 2022

Creston Water Board waits for Maple bids

Creston Water Board agreed Tuesday to wait for the bids in July for the planned water main replacement in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks before deciding any additional commitment.

Although the infrastructure work is estimated at about $705,565, but with volatile construction cost prices, the work may not meet the budgeted amount.

A development agreement between the city of Creston and Addam Wall of RANT, LLC, developers of Maple Street Apartments, help facilitate redevelopment of properties in the 100 block. Rant owns properties at 110 and 112 N. Maple St. and plans to have retail and apartment space under the name Agnew Lofts. Those buildings are the former Van Gelder clothing store and Agnew buildings. RANT also owns property at 124 N Maple St.

After reviewing all funding for the work, Creston Water Works General Manager Steve Guthrie said about $78,000 of the funding has not been accounted.

“We don’t have answers yet,” he said.

“The pro to this is replacing three blocks for the price of one,” he said. “The con is it was an un-budgeted project with short notice.”

Creston Water Works had already approved $100,000 for the work.

“Let’s wait for bids,” said water board member John Tapken. Bid letting is scheduled July 7.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” Guthrie said.

Austin Smith, an engineer from Garden and Associates planning the work, told Creston City Council last week the work may get complicated, and more expensive, because of unique parts used.

“About $50,000 of that is insertion valves,” Smith said about the total estimated cost of $700,000 and what was bid for the work to improve the water mains. “It’s kind of a specialty item. I’ve never used them before,” he said. “We usually use tapping valve and sleeves.”

Creston Mayor Gabe Carroll asked Southern Iowa Council of Governments representative Jeremy Rounds, which assisted the city with applying for grants, if the city can increase its grant amount. The city approved to amend its Community Development Block Grant up to $500,000, to cover additional costs.

Smith said more will be known when work begins.

In other water board news...

The board approved to create a full-time position in the office to improve efficiency and with customer service. The position is expected to begin in June. Guthrie said there is enough work to justify full time.

The board approved to extend its lease contract with U.S. Cellular for placing its towers on a Creston water tower.

Approval for payment of $89,418 for the repair work at the Twelve Mile treatment plant.

Water works approved to purchase a dump truck from the city at trade-in value. The transaction is not expected to happen until July in a new budget year.

Board approved to asses shut-off fees totaling $528 to an account holder in the 900 block of North Walnut. The board agreed to waive $396 in related fees from 2019. A representative for the account was not at the meeting.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.