During the city council meeting, councilors were advised of a discovery that had been made during the ongoing restoration efforts that may expand the refurbishment budget.

Rehabilitation work began this winter, with sandblasting taking place on the water tower. During that operation, it was discovered that there was a major issue with the beams on the roof of the tower.

Those sections are critical for the structural integrity, holding the roof and also acting as a stabilizer for the bottom of the tower.

The work will need to be completed over the next five years, and the current cost of the repair is $628,500 with one company offering a cost of $890,000 for the job.

Additional work for the tower has also come in at a cost of $300,000. While this is still below the $2,000,000 budgeted for the tower, the beam repair would be above that limit.

Water Services Manager Shane Bucsis was also in attendance and urged that the fix should be done soon.

He described that the costs of a crew disassembling and reassembling scaffolding, along with getting ready for the job, would exceed any possible savings that the city may find from a lower bidder.

Three options were given for the problem:

  1. Postponing the original work and focusing on this new work to fix the beam.
  2. Adding $500,000 to the existing budget, which would cover the costs of the new fix. Those funds would be taken from the same fund the original money came from.
  3. Scrap the water tower work and expand the Smith Street Reservoir. projected costs were $4,000,000 three years ago, with Bucsis saying that's likely risen by 50%.

The council decided to go with option two, taking more money from the federal gas tax fund.