Albion could face $1M water tank upgrade

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The 1-million-gallon water tank on Route 98 is pictured through a metal fence at the site north of the village in the Town of Gaines. A firm advised the village to spend $935,000 to bolster the tank with a series of improvements.

ALBION – The steel tank that holds 1 million gallons of water is rusty, with some open holes that could let in birds and wildlife, village officials were told last week.

Roger Linder, a representative for the Utility Service Group, detailed a list of improvements that total $935,000. Linder said the work would give the water tank from the early 1960s another half century of service.

“If you protect it, coat it and fix the holes, it will be as good as new,” Linder told the Village Board.

The water tank is north of the village on Route 98, near Watt Farms Country Market. Linder said the tank’s deficiencies will likely require some remedial action from the Orleans County Health Department.

Linder suggested having the inside of the tank coated, which would improve the water quality. The proposal from the company also includes a mixer for the interior of the tank, which would also improve the water, Linder said.

The project also should include an engineering inspection, sandblasting, steel repair and a second manway to meet standards from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), Linder said.

“Structurally the tank is still in OK shape,” Linder told the Village Board. “The longer we kick the can down the road the more expensive it becomes.”

Trustee Eileen Banker responded that nearly $1 million is a lot to spend on a tank from the early 1960s.

“That seems a little extreme to me,” she said.

Trustee Gary Katsanis said the village may want to look at the entire water delivery system and its water storage tanks. Perhaps the 1-million-gallon tank could be removed with its storage capacity shifted to the 3-million-gallon tank at the corner of routes 31A and 98 in Barre, Katsanis said.

Linder recommended the village work to keep the 1-million-gallon tank as an asset. The village has been adding new water districts to its system in the outlying towns, Linder noted.

“You don’t want to lose capacity,” Linder said.

“I’m just not sold on spending a million dollars on it,” Katsanis said.

The board will discuss with its engineering firm, Chatfield Engineers, about a possible study of the entire system, including the water storage tanks.

Village Attorney John Gavenda also wanted to check the legal issues with going with the proposal from the Utility Service Group. Gavenda said the village may need three proposals from firms before it could approve a project as part of the competitive bidding process.

Linder said his firm is willing to work out a multi-year financial arrangement with the village if it votes to move ahead with the project.