City hopes to tap stimulus monies for new water tower

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Getting its name on the list. That is what the City of Gaylord is doing in an attempt to get Federal Stimulus monies for a new water tower and new water meter project.

City Administrator Kevin McCann, at last week’s City Council meeting, reported that there is a need to replace the downtown water tower which was constructed in 1917. According to McCann, there are capacity limit and structural issues with that water tower. He said the City’s water superintendent believes the 70,000 gallon water tower needs replacement within the next ten years.

According to McCann, the proposal is to construct a 300,000 gallon water tower on the west end of town. This would allow the City to have enough water in the two towers to cover the average daily use in the City. That is considered to be the “rule of thumb” to follow, McCann explained. The City’s water tower on the east end of town holds 400,000 gallons of water. According to McCann, the City uses an average of 600,000 to 700,000 gallons of water per day.

A second part of the project would include replacing all the water meters in town with digital radio frequency meters.

The total estimated cost of the water tower/water meter project is $1.6 million, according to McCann’s report. This project is eligible for funds from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority which has received $35 million for drinking water projects.

To be eligible for the funds, the City had to agree to put the project on a Project Priority List. McCann explained that there are no costs associated with being on the project list and it does not commit the City to the project.

According to McCann, City staff worked with Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) on the project language for the Project Priority List. He said SEH is doing this work free of charge for the City.

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