5/18/17 - A new paint job on water tower in downtown Beaver Dam will likely be delayed until 2019 though it looks like the city will not have to pay for a major unforeseen expense. The city had been planning a complete exterior re-coating of the tank in the downtown Tower parking lot next year because of several spots with rust bleed-through. The project was originally scheduled to go out to bid in January but city Director of Utilities Rob Minnema says nearby high voltage electric lines need to be relocated first. Minnema has been working for several years with the business that owns the power lines, American Transmission Company, to either temporarily or permanently move the lines so the tower can be painted. He says it did not seem like ATC was initially very excited about permanently moving the lines because of all the players involved, from the city to utility companies. However, Minnema says ATC has decided that the power lines will be permanently moved away from the tower. However, it will take time with engineering alone anticipated to take one year. While temporarily relocating the lines would have cost the city tens-of-thousands of dollars, Minnema says permanent relocation carries a price tag in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. He says that will save the city a lot of money because most the cost is being footed by ATC. The downtown water tower was built in 1936 and received an extensive interior and exterior recoating in 1986. A low-quality recoat was applied in 2007. A recent inspection revealed that the paint is failing, though the metal structure itself is in good condition. No word yet on how much the city will save from not having to move the power lines. The complete exterior recoat is estimated to cost between $650-and-$700-thousand. A new tower, by contrast, would cost a minimum of $1.3-million dollars. The new paint job on water tower will feature the colors and logo of the school district; the support beams will be white and the basin will be green and gold with an image of the school mascot, a beaver waring a boxing glove, featured prominently.
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