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Posted: 01/09/13

Village OKs $9,000 for
water tower maintenance

Observer Staff Writer
      Village officials have given the go-ahead to repair one of Romeo's tallest assets.
       The Village Board of Trustees voted 7-0 on Dec. 17 to begin maintenance on the village's water tower for $9,050. The cost is a drop in the bucket of the $100,000-plus price tag to re-paint and maintain the tower.
       Tim Metz, Department of Public Works supervisor, said the tower will be cleaned and painted in the fall. He said it hasn't been painted since it was installed.
       Of the approved expense, $6,250 will be used for the installation of pressure probes and programming the well houses so the tower can be taken out of service for the maintenance.
       "They're painting the outside," Metz said. "They have to drain the water out of it so that there's no moisture on the outside of it."
       The tower will be out of service for a month during the maintenance. At that time, Metz said the probes will allow the wells to run off the pressure in the system.
       "Right now, if we take it out of service, we have to adjust the motors on the wells and they run constantly," he said. "The water we create just blows the pressure valves off when it gets to a point and dumps it down to sanitary."
       Village Clerk Marian McLaughlin said funding for the project will come from the water department's capital improvement funds. Outside of the meeting, she said there will be no break in the service during the maintenance.
       Trustee Christine Malzahn wondered why the village would pay $2,800 for engineering costs. Metz explained the company, Dixon Engineering, will put together the bid package and send it out to contractors. They will then review the bids for presentation.
       "They will basically oversee the whole project," Metz said.
       Metz said Dixon originally built the tower, and when previously collecting bids on maintenance they had presented the cheapest price at the time.
       Village officials said the exact cost of the entire project isn't nailed down, but is expected to be over $100,000.
       The village's legal counsel, Mark Clark, reviewed the contract with Dixon, saying he had no concerns with it.
       The tower holds 1 million gallons of water for the village. It was financed in 2001 and was online in 2002, with the most recent maintenance check in 2010.

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