October 01, 2022

Creston Water Board tables Maple St. project

Facing a shortfall of $240,584, Creston Water Works Tuesday agreed to table the Maple Street project until its October meeting to research additional funding.

Bids for the work, which are to replace water mains in the 100, 200 and 300 block of North Maple Street, are part of developers proposal from RANT LLC to refurbish properties in the 100 block.

The entire project is about $870,000. The shortfall reflects 40% more in the water main work and 15% more in the surface work than what was budgeted. One bid each for the water work and street resurfacing were received Aug. 31. The bids totaled $730,990.

“If it stays at $240,000, it’s not built into the budget,” said Creston Water Works General Manager Steve Guthrie about his operation taking on the needed funding.

Water board member Kyle Huck said the cost for water treatment chemicals have dramatically increased in price and fears a day when chemicals will not be available forcing boil orders.

The project was initially funded by a $500,000 CBDG grant, $100,000 from Creston Water Works $27,579 from the city of Creston.

“I don’t even know the council will have the appetite to spend money on this or not,” said Creston Mayor Gabe Carroll. He said he will further inquire with council members. Member Rich Madison was also in attendance but did not comment. Carroll said the developer is also facing the loss of his funding should the project not be done. Carroll said the developer is not in the position to take on the additional costs. If the properties in the area are not maintained, Carroll expects another building to be demolished in the future.

Austin Smith of Garden and Associates, which engineered the project, said the CDBG grant also has some unknowns. Smith has said the grant expires May 31, 2023, but he added he does not have a clear answer if that date is when the project must be complete or it will still be valid if construction is still ongoing at that time. Smith said that kind of work is difficult to do during the winter months. Guthrie said he is assuming the project must be complete by May 31.

Smith said, before COVID the cost of the project probably would have cost about the amount needed; $240,000.

Max Smith of Creston was the bid for the water work at $389,610. Hymbaugh Construction of Creston was the bid for the surface work at $341,380.

Creston City Council reviewed the bids last week but did not take any formal action.

Guthrie said the Maple Street project could be included in a future improvement project that includes more area.

In other water works news...

Guthrie said the area’s dry summer shows as the water level at Three Mile Lake on Sept. 6 was down 25 inches. At 12 Mile, it has dropped 6 inches, which he said is mostly because of evaporation. Recent rains have helped, but the area still is behind on normal precipitation amounts. Guthrie said water from the water plant was about 10 million gallons more per month compared to last year with Southern Iowa Rural Water Association at a 13 million gallon per month increase. That is slightly more than 300,000 gallon per day increase year over year.

Approval for another payment for the water-intake work at 12 Mile Lake was approved for $285,284. Guthrie said supply-chain issues are becoming more common and expects delays for a few months.

Because of scheduling conflicts the November meeting will be held 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15. The board regularly meets the second Tuesday of the month.

John Van Nostrand

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.