Water tower repairs become more urgent

By Linda Trest, Staff Writer
Posted 5/26/21

City engineer Terris Cates of Integrity Engineering, Inc. urged city officials, in their May meeting,to begin work in repairing the city’s two water towers. 

Terris first sounded the …

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Water tower repairs become more urgent

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City engineer Terris Cates of Integrity Engineering, Inc. urged city officials, in their May meeting,to begin work in repairing the city’s two water towers. 

Terris first sounded the alarm in 2018, reporting that corrosion, rust and brittle paint would cause the towers to fail in the not so distance future. It was not a problem that could be remedied with just sandblasting and cleaning. A minor leak had already developed back then. 

Then-mayor Cary Parker took preliminary steps to address the problem, but when did not run for re-election, the efforts faltered. 

Public Works Director Nick Grube echoed Cates concerns, “There is now a strong leak on the big tower and more rust is showing on both towers,” he told the board. “We need to get moving.” 

Over the years, the city has put $150,000 into a fund earmarked for water tower repairs. Cates estimates another $442,000 will be needed to complete the project. 

Ward 1 Alderman Angela Koepke suggested looking into combining other projects, such as needed repairs to the waste water treatment plant, into one big project. A storm water project on Sixth and Pine streets was also discussed.

Cates offered some preliminary ideas on how to finance the work. He asked the board to give him three weeks to get some final figures together. 

“We’ve been kicking this can a long time and it’s just getting rustier and the holes are getting bigger,” Ward 1 Alderman Steve Grgurich noted. 

There may be some grant money available, but the city will be also be looking at Certificates of Participation (COP) to finance the bulk of the job. 

The board scheduled a workshop for Thursday, June 3, to discuss how they wish to proceed . 

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