RC considers water tower rehab project

There’s a wrong way and right way to paint, or protect, a city water tower.

Rush City councilors on June 25 learned all about the latter and then some while taking in a proposal for water tank maintenance services for the city’s two water towers. Though no action was taken, the council is considering contracting for the service at a collective cost of $672,500 over a 10-year period.

At issue, the 500,000 gallon tank, called a “spheroid pedestal,” near the high school and the 300,000 gallon tower near the prison are in need of protective coatings — that is, paint. The current coating was applied in 1998.

Jason Sprague, a business development manager for Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc., discussed and answered several of the council’s questions about the rehabilitation and maintenance process.

Under the maintenance proposal, the water towers would be spot-blasted and painted with a protective coating in the wet interior and on the exterior surfaces through an initial rehab phase. In the years to follow, work would continue in the form of visual surveys to general maintenance to engineering evaluations.

Each tower has an approximate 100-year life expectancy, said Sprague.

Councilors also clarified that the water tower at the prison doesn’t just serve the correctional facility, as it services the city as the larger the tank by the school.

In terms of paying for the project, the city has found that a 10-year equal payment plan for both tanks would be the best route, since “the cash flow for the (city’s) water operating fund will remain healthy,” city staff said by memo to the council.

This would amount to $37,750 annually for the city’s 500,000 gallon tank and $29,500 per year for the 300,000 gallon tank over the 10 years.

By contracting for 10 years, too, the city expects to benefit from an extended warranty, meaning the protective coatings will be guaranteed for the life of the maintenance contract; long-term cost predictability; and compliance with AWWA/OSHA standards.

In other news, the council:

• Received an update on the 4th Street turnback project, which is slated to be complete by July 9, in time for the county fair (July 12-15) and parade (July 14).

• Approved a resolution accepting the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority’s offer to purchase a $990,727 general obligation sewer revenue note of 2012 and related loan agreement in financing sanitary sewer replacement along 4th Street and Bremer Avenue as part of the turnback project.

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