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Council to decide on water tank MEETING MONDAY: Consultant recommends repairs over replacement of park tower

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Should it stay or should it go?

The Watertown City Council will decide Monday whether to rehabilitate or replace the deteriorating water tank at Thompson Park.

Consultant Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Syracuse, has recommended that the city spend $913,000 to make major repairs to the 250,000-gallon tank instead of replacing it. The engineers projected a new tank would cost about $1.37 million. The city has budgeted $500,000 for rehabilitation.

Water Superintendent Michael J. Sligar agreed with the consultant’s recommendation, saying it’s more cost effective than demolishing the tank and replacing it.

“It takes in account the 30-year life of the tank,” he said Friday.

The cost of maintaining the tank over the next 30 years would be $365,200, bringing the total cost over that period to $1,278,000. Projection for the new one, including maintenance, is $1,376,800. Still, it would be better for the city to make the repairs, Mr. Sligar said.

“We got that question answered,” he said.

Both Mr. Sligar and the consultant determined it would be best for the city to put a new multilayer coat of paint on the exterior and two coats of epoxy on the interior.

Council members are expected to hear a presentation Monday night that spells out the details of the repairs. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers of City Hall, 245 Washington St.

The tank was installed at Thompson Park — the highest point in the city — in 1978 to provide adequate water pressure to the neighborhood surrounding the park, to properties along Gotham Street and for some underground city tanks in the park.

The city learned that corrosion in the tank has increased so much since an inspection in 2000 that the entire protective interior must be replaced, according to a Nov. 13 memo from Mr. Sligar. Despite updated quotes being sought, “nothing was ever done,” Mr. Sligar wrote after looking in subsequent files.

Council members also will discuss a $1 million project to install a 3,000-foot-long water main that would run parallel to a line that runs from Thompson Boulevard to the reservoir tanks at the park.

The new line would provide redundancy in the water supply to the 100-year-old line in case of a break or need for repairs.

Council members will be asked to spend up to $94,300 for GHD Consulting Services, Cazenovia, to design the new line. Last month, they approved a $35,900 contract with GHD, but the city has determined the scope of the work has increased, so it merits the additional money, according to a memo from City Manager Sharon A. Addison.

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