Town com­mis­sion­ers seek water tower study

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

QUEENSTOWN — The Queenstown Town Com­mis­sion­ers have set in mo­tion the mech­a­nism that will help them de­ter­mine whether to re­ha­bil­i­tate the 1932-vin­tage water tower in the cen­ter of town or re­place it.

In a meet­ing late in April with Town En­gi­neer Bob Rauch the com­mis­sion­ers said they want to have a study done to de­ter­mine which course of ac­tion would be best. Dur­ing the meet­ing, Rauch told them that there may be fund­ing avail­able through the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture for a study and pos­si­bly some of the cost of build­ing a re­place­ment tower if that’s what’s de­cided on. USDA pro­vided part of the fund­ing for the town’s new waste­water treat­ment plant, which be­gan full oper­a­tions sev­eral months ago.

“The con­cept would be to eval­u­ate sev­eral al­ter­na­tives, just as we did with the treat­ment plant, and start with Op­tion 1 which is to do noth­ing,” he said. “Op­tion 2 is to in­vest in the up­grade and re­con­di­tion­ing of the ex­ist­ing tower. Op­tion 3 is to eval­u­ate the need for ad­di­tional tow­ers to sup­port fu­ture growth ar­eas in the town, and that can have an al­ter­na­tive with it to ei­ther keep the old tower or com­pletely re­move it.”

Since the town cre­ated a water model for its water sys­tem when it in­stalled its new well in June 2014, Rauch said that model would be uti­lized in a study to help de­ter­mine where any fu­ture wa- ter tow­ers would go. Also to be in­cor­po­rated into a study would be an eval­u­a­tion of the town’s ex­ist­ing water in­fra­struc­ture be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity that fund­ing might also be avail­able to up­grade parts of it, he said.

An ap­pli­ca­tion can be made to USDA any time af­ter the study is com­pleted, along with pub­li­ca­tion of a no­tice that the town is seek­ing those funds, ac­cord­ing to Rauch.

“You’ll eval­u­ate the re­sults of the study and de­ter­mine which [op­tion] best suits the town’s needs and then make that ap­pli­ca­tion,” he told the com­mis­sion­ers.

The town was re­cently in­formed by the com­pany that main­tains its tower that its ex­te­rior needs to be sand­blasted and re­painted at an es­ti­mated cost of about $200,000. A fi­nanc­ing plan of­fered by the com­pany would have the town pay $44,392 each year for five years, ac­cord­ing to Com­mis­sioner Mike Bow­ell. He said the town has 12 to 13 months to de­cide what it wants to do.

“That’s why there is a sense of ur­gency to get into this study be­cause that study will de­ter­mine whether that main­te­nance is the ap­pro­pri­ate thing to do,” Rauch said.

Queenstown now has two water tow­ers — the 50,000-gal­lon one in the cen­ter of town that’s go­ing to be eval­u­ated — and a newer 100,000-gal­lon one on the grounds of Queenstown Pre­mium Out­lets. There is also the ex­pec­ta­tion that at least one other tower will need to be built in the fu­ture as devel­op­ment takes place at the Wheat­lands prop­erty.

PHOTO BY JACK SHAUM

The Queenstown Town Com­mis­sion­ers are dis­cussing whether to re­ha­bil­i­tate the 84-year-old water tank in the heart of town, or re­place it. Paint has come off two places above the dou­ble E in the town’s name and its main­te­nance com­pany says the tank needs to be sand­blasted and re­painted at a cost of about $200,000.

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