The City Council continued Monday night a discussion on just how to tackle rebuilding of the city’s largest water reservoir, a 3-million gallon water tank built in the 1970’s that is a critical element of the city’s water distribution system.
Beyond deciding how to replace the tank while it is drained and rebuilt is the question of how to finance the project.
City Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer has presented several options to the Council on how to plan maintenance that will mean draining the tank, which is the primary reservoir in the city water system. Because the tank will be out of service for an estimated 5 to 6 months, something else will need to take its place.
Buckenmeyer’s recommendation is to build a one-million gallon tank as a substitute and as a backup tank once the maintenance is done on the large tank. Or, the city could build another 3-million gallon tank to simply replace the current one. But, the current Whistle Lake Road location doesn’t have enough land to site a second large tank.
An inspection in 2011 revealed that the tank shows signs of corrosion, both inside and outside.
The plan is to remove or repair the corrosion, seal weld the lap joins of the roof plate, perform access and ventilation upgrades and sandblast both interior and exterior to bare metal and recoat. Work is estimated to take 22 weeks.
As outlined by Buckenmeyer, the cost of building a new one-million gallon tank and rehabbing the current tank would be about $4-million. The cost of building a new 3-million gallon tank and rehabbing the current tank would cost about $6-million. And, the cost of building a new 3-million gallon tank and demolishing the current tank would be about $5-million.
Any of the options would mean a water rate hike of as much as $5 per month for residential water users.
The City Council is set to continue this discussion at the next two upcoming meetings.