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Water tower project receives state grant


Posted 8/04/15 (Tue)

By Nicky Ouellet
Tioga City Commissioners on Monday accepted yet another state grant -- this one for 60 percent of the cost of a new water tower.
Commissioners also approved spending on a new Chamber of Commerce Sign, accepted contractor bids for the water tower project and received notice of an updated Main Street construction schedule.
Water towers, new and old
Highlighting the evening was the announcement the State Water Commission (SWC) will cover 60 percent of the $3.65 million water tower project slated to begin within the next few weeks. 
The SWC will refund $2.19 million of the project’s total cost to increase the city’s water storage capacity from roughly 148,000 gallons to 750,000 gallons and install new 12-inch water main pipes.
“We shouldn’t have any water pressure issues,” said a happy Water Commissioner John Grubb.
Contractor bids for the project were also approved at Monday’s meeting. Landmark Structures will construct the new  tower and backup generator, estimated at $2.64 million and $25,000, respectively.
Construction of the water main line was awarded to Jr Civil, LLC, for nearly $460,000. The 12-inch line will run from the high school to Main Street.
Commissioners also began to consider what should become of the “new/old” water tower in the northeastern corner of town. 
The $3 million project was installed but never worked properly -- used for drinking water one winter only. A committee will research options to sell outright or lease the existing tower to recoup some the city’s losses.
Main Street update
Though the Main Street construction project is ahead of schedule, commissioners extended the project’s substantial completion deadline from Aug. 28 to Oct. 2. 
“Technically, we’re ahead of schedule,” said Tom Johnson, the project’s engineer from Ackerman-Estvold. “This is added insurance.”
The push-back allows for bad weather days and catch up from previous delays waiting for correct equipment to arrive.
A road crew is set to arrive this weekend, and work on side streets will begin next week.
The city will switch its downtown streetlights from high pressure sodium bulbs to LED. The LED bulbs are more energy efficient and produce a whiter, brighter light.
Promoting Tioga
Commissioners approved a $30,000 grant from the Visitor Promotion Fund for a new welcome sign on the corner of ND 40 and 2nd Street. The electronic sign will be able to display lighted announcements and ads.
The sign itself will cost roughly $18,000. The remainder of the grant will go toward removal of the existing business district sign, burying the electric cables and tidying up the corner.
“I think it will be a big asset to that corner,” said Grubb.
Police business
Commissioners okayed signs and enforcement of an overnight parking ban at the Farm Festival Building after receiving complaints of trucks running overnight, among other issues.
“No trespassing” signs will be ordered and placed on the city’s property and enforcement will begin when the signs go up.
A separate issue of visibility was brought up by Police Administrator Jeff Spivey, who requested modification of an ordinance requiring houses to be numbered. It is unclear if crew camps are included in the requirement.
Unclear numbering has hindered the response of emergency services and often causes confusion for responders.
“We still are fast because it’s a small town,” said Spivey, adding that the average response time is two minutes. “But it slows us down to find the right house.”
Spivey will work with the city attorney to align the city’s modified ordinance with county regulations. 
Commissioners thanked members of the Police Department for their organization and work at the city’s impound auction held Saturday. Police raised $32,365, with roughly $10,000 expected to go to Tioga schools as a donation after fees are paid.
The scheduling of a public hearing on the first phase of a series of annexations was also noted by commissioners -- to be held Tuesday, Aug. 25.


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