The village's 63-year-old water tower has grown rusty, and will require an extensive $1.23 million sandblast and paint job to restore.
Whitefish Bay trustees voted Monday night to award Oak Creek-based Dixon Engineering a five-year contract for $246,000, including a $20,000 per year contingency. The contract includes sand blasting and a four-coat paint process on the exterior of the water tower, along with a throrough sand blasting and a three-coat paint process on the interior of the water tower.
With the maintenance work, Village Engineer Dan Naze said the water tower, located on Lydell Avenue north of Devon Street, may have another 50 years left.
"After you remove rust and recoat it, I think it’s a pretty sound tank," he said.
Trustees shot down the idea of spending about $20,000 on a fence to provide security around the tank, but the majority of trustees voted to spend an additional $9,000 to $11,000 on a Whitefish Bay logo.
"I think it’s a landmark for Whitefish Bay," Trustee Kevin Buckley said. "Thousands of people see it on I-43 everyday, and they have no idea it's Whitefish Bay."
Trustee Lauri Rollings was one of the trustees that disagreed.
"It doesn't make sense to me to have a logo if we're trying to save pennies on a fence," she said.
The Village Board budgeted $200,000 for tank maintenance in 2010-11, and only a small amount was used for other pump maintenance. The water tower maintenance will be mostly paid for through water rates, but due to price controls from the Public Service Commission, the village will only be able to recoup $95,000 per year.
"There's going to be a shortfall that we will have to make up some other way, and it's not going to be through the rates," Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said.
The board approved the project and tasked village staff with finding a financing mechanism.