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Council approves plans to repair Thompson Park water tank

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The city’s water tank at Thompson Park will undergo major repairs.

The Watertown City Council informally agreed Monday night to spend $913,000 to repair the 250,000-gallon tank instead of replacing it.

Consultant Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, Syracuse, had recommended the repairs rather than appropriating $1.37 million for a new tank. The city has budgeted $500,000 for rehabilitation.

The consultant also determined 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 tank, including maintenance, was $1,376,800.

During the discussion Monday night, Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso wondered why the city would not just demolish the old tank and replace it with a new one since the costs were similar.

City Manager Sharon A. Addison said it would be better for the city to make the repairs. She said the consultant and Water Superintendent Michael J. Sligar concluded making the repairs “was more cost effective.”

Businesswoman Sheila F. Barney-Pullus credited Mr. Sligar with getting the project off the ground and said it took 13 years for the city to get to this point.

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 and to properties along Gotham Street and to feed some underground city tanks in the park.

The city learned that corrosion in the tank has increased by such an amount since a 2000 inspection 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 discussed a $1 million project to install a 3,000-foot water main to 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 for the 100-year-old line in case of a break or the need for repairs.

Members agreed to spend up to $94,300 for GHD Consulting Services, Cazenovia, to design the new line.

Last month, the council approved a $35,900 contract with GHD, but a memo from Ms. Addison said the scope of the work has increased, so it merits the additional money.

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