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New water tower continues to rise

New water tower continues to rise

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Public Works director Jerry Dunlay and the City of Osage are watching the water tower on the south side of town rise.

Its assembly will speed up once the big crane arrives. Work continues on the sludge storage tank as well.

Osage water tower

Crews continue to piece together new water tower in Osage.

At the July 12 Osage City Council meeting, Dunlay reported over $314,000 worth of work on the water tower tank had been completed by Gerard Tank and Steel, most of that for the foundation. The total contract amount for the water tower tank is over $1.7 million.

“There’s a lot of steel laying around,” he said. “The big crane’s coming in this week. They’re going to have an X-ray company come in and X-ray everything that’s been welded in the ground.”

The Council approved the partial pay certificate for the new well and water tower being constructed by Gerard Tank and Steel.

Crews are also working on the well house, with a partial pay certificate of a little over $38,000. It includes underground piping from the city’s water mains. The total contract was for over $423,000. Over $120,000 has been completed.

“This one is small compared to the other,” Dunlay said. “The building’s not here, but there was a lot of mechanical work that had to be done.”

The Council approved the partial pay certificate for work being performed by Henkel Construction.

The Council also approved the partial pay certificate for the new sludge storage tank project. The total contract amount is for over $1,078,000, with Henkel Construction performing the work. According to Dunlay, over $735,000 is already complete on the blower building, with the majority of that going toward the blower system.

The Council approved the second partial pay certificate for the new sludge storage tank. Work completed is over $387,000. The total cost of the project is over $728,000. Work is being done by Great Plains Structures.

“The tank is on site, delivered two or three weeks ago,” Dunlay said.

Mayor Steve Cooper said Dunlay gave him a private tour of the progress being made across Osage.

“It’s phenomenal,” Cooper said.

In other business:

• Dunlay said he had a conversation with the two splash pad architects, who wanted to know what amenities – such as toys – Osage would choose.

“I guess the committee would pick them,” Dunlay said. “The architects don’t want anything to do with picking them. It should be a committee of parents or people that know splash pads.”

The inclusive playground has garnered similar inquiries.

“I’ve been getting asked – especially by the people in the playground department – who picks what they’re going to have for the toys?” Cooper said.

• The Council also discussed urban chickens.

Osage City Clerk Cathy Penney said she received a phone call from a resident wondering if they could have chickens in town.

“If your neighbor complains, you’re going to have to get rid of those chickens,” Penney told the resident. “If your neighbor does not complain, we’ll just turn a blind eye”

Then Penney received a call from a realtor with the same question, and she provided the same answer.

“And I thought that this is probably not the good answer to give,” Penney said, emphasizing the confusion that would be encountered by a new resident. “We either need to allow them and change the ordinance to reflect that, or we need to enforce the ordinance that says no you can’t have chickens. And there are lots of them scattered throughout the community. I’m not hearing complaints.”

Other communities limit the number of chickens that can be owned by one resident. Cooper asked Dunlay to research and present a recommendation.

• The Council approved and authorized signing a development agreement to provide financial assistance for A to Z Drying, Inc. in the City of Osage.

“If it’s good for you, it’s good for the city,” Cooper said.

• Penney said the 2021 Osage election is Nov. 2, and the filing dates for petitions are Aug. 23 to Sept. 16.

There will be three council seats and one park commission seat on the ballot. Council incumbents are Rick Bodensteiner, Larry Mork and Ross Grafft, all four-year terms. On the park commission is John Michels, a six-year term. No potential candidate has stated whether they will run again for office.

Jason W. Selby is the community editor for the Mitchell Country Press News. He can be reached at 515-971-6217, or by email at


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