XENIA — The city’s water towers are going to receive some much-needed maintenance.
City council voted 5-0 with two members absent May 10 to spend a little more than $1 million to repaint the West Second Street and North Patton Street towers, which hold the city’s drinking water supply. The Second Street tower has the original paint from its construction in 2001-02, while the other tower has not had a repaint in at least 20 to 30 years, according to City Manager Brent Merriman.
City Engineer Chris Berger said it’s preventative maintenance.
“Water towers are painted to provide coating(s) that protect the integrity of the structure from corrosion,” he said. “Corrosion protection is the primary reason to do it, not to make it look pretty.”
Berger said both towers were inspected by a third party engineering firm that has expertise in water tower painting and “it is clear that this needs to happen in order to protect the integrity of the tank and the water supply.”
During the project, the towers will be taken offline and drained. Sedimentation will also be removed, according to City Manager Brent Merriman.
“We need to make sure that we’re taking the proper steps to ensure the longevity of these assets,” he said. “The suggestion that these types of expenditures are unnecessary is just totally based on no fact. It would be negligent of the council not to be taking periodic steps to ensure that our infrastructure is safe. I can think of few other ways that would be valuable in terms of protecting our community than making sure our drinking water is safe.”
Each tower will cost approximately $530,000 and will be paid for through water enterprise funds. Those monies can not be used for anything else, such as paving streets, both Berger and Merriman said.