The ins and outs of painting the water tower

By on February 12, 2009

by Lynn Meredith
The question isn’t whether the water tower in Maple Park will get painted; the question is how much of it will get painted. The Maple Park Village Board will decide that question at a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 9, at 7:45 p.m., immediately following a discussion of the Water Committee at 7 p.m.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the board tabled a motion to paint the entire tower. However, it decided in favor of reserving a time slot to bring in a temporary water tower to take over while the permanent tower is being painted.

The board tabled a motion to go ahead with the painting project in a 4-1 vote, with Erl Pederson dissenting, until it could decide whether to paint the inside of the tank only or paint both the inside and the outside of the tank.

“It’s not a question of whether we want to get it done or not get it done; it’s a question of timing. I don’t think you can put the village in a position where there could be some possible kickbacks from our residents because of the water we’re delivering, so I think it’s expeditious for us to move forward and get this job done,” Pederson said.

The cost to paint the entire 150,000-gallon water tank was expected to be $84,000. However, an additional $22,000 in engineering fees that were not initially presented to the Water Committee surfaced, causing Water Committee chairman Terry Borg to call for more discussion before going ahead.

“The question becomes how much of the project do we want to accomplish and (have) an opportunity to discuss the additional construction-related costs,” Borg said. “I really don’t understand why the construction-related expenses are the same, whether you do a smaller job that takes less time or the bigger job that takes more time.”

Borg suggested that the board hold off on its decision until the Water Committee had a chance to discuss the project in more detail to make sure it gets done right.

The first option is to paint the entire tank. That would include a full scrub-down of the exterior and removal of all problem areas, and then painting the whole outside as well as the inside. The other option, which is $28,000 less, would be to take care of problem areas on the inside of the tank only and spot paint.

The portable water tower would continue to provide water to residents while the tank is being painted. The village would rent the tower at a rate of $500 per month. The painting project is expected to take a month and a half, depending on weather conditions such as wind and humidity, which might disrupt the painting.