Town commissioners seek water tower study
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.
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.