It was a night of first steps for the Newton City Commission Jan. 23. Those first steps were to enter into engineering agreements on projects. Here are three:

Painting water towers

The city approved an engineering agreement for $27,000 for the painting of two water towers — one located at 17th and Grandview by Newton High School and the other at S. Spencer and SE Third.

Both towers were constructed in 1968, and the last painting project for them was 15 years ago.

Prior to repainting, some addition tank maintenance will be performed. An inspection in 2017 identified seal sealing issues. In addition, a complete washing will be done for final inspection prior to repainting and repairs.

The first of the two tanks will be a bonded project using a low-interest loan from the state.  If the work can be combined with a project to replace a water tank on First Street, low-interest funds will be used for both.

Initial estimates for the project are less than $600,000, with final estimates coming after engineering work is done. Final plans will be approved by the city commission before work can happen.

 Rolling Hills Sixth Addition

Included in the improvements are $116,000 for sanitary sewer, $187,000 for water system improvements and $340,000 for paving for the development which is zoned as commercial.

In each case the city will assess a special assessment to the property within the addition. The developer, as the sole owner, will be responsible for those special assessments until they have sold property.

A sewer line update

The commission approved moving forward with retaining an engineering firm to create a project to increase the size of a sanitary sewer line underneath Sand Creek at Eighth St.

The project will increase the capacity of the sewer main under the creek and would allow for undeveloped properties in the sewer basin served by the main to be developed.