Fri, Jun 18, 2021
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Toledo seeking $550,000 grant for water tank repairs and upgrades

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The tank for Toledo’s water system, located at 1166 SR 505, is in need of upgrades and repairs, and the city is seeking a $550,000 grant from the state to help complete the project.

The City of Toledo is seeking roughly $550,000 to repair its water storage tank in what has been described as the last major infrastructure project facing the city.

Presented to the City Council during their June 2 meeting, the intention of officials is to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) through the state for the rehabilitation and modernization of the facility, located at 1166 SR 505.

“It needs a lot a maintenance, but it’s not a danger yet,” said Mayor Jerry Pratt, stating the aging structure, built in the ‘90s, continues to comply with Department of Health standards despite a need for repairs, adding it is the city’s desire to proactively avoid a violation.

According to a 2011 inspection report, some portions of the metal lining within the tank are in need of replacement, as well as certain parts of the exterior, while additional fixtures such as new mixers, vents, man-ways and a ladder are needed to modernize the facility, among other upgrades.

In a report submitted by Public Works Superintendent Craig McCown, such repairs are estimated to cost between $350,000 and $400,000, while costs associated with adjustments to the well pumps to run “on demand” during tank repairs may cost between $25,000 and $75,000.

“There would be a loss of fire protection while the tank was offline,” said McCown in the report, should repairs be conducted, “and water conservation measures might have to be requested of the public.”

Pratt said, in the event the tank is taken offline and the water system relies solely on well pumps, which he estimated may last around two or three months during repairs, the city would coordinate with Lewis County Fire District 2 to ensure emergency service options remain available.

McCown suggested the city apply for $550,000 in CDBG funding to cover the project, stating additional costs for engineering and development may be incurred during planning.

City Clerk Michelle Whitten indicated, as the final approval for CDBG funds comes from the state legislature, Toledo will not know until at least the next legislative session in January if the funds have been awarded or not, though a shortlist of potential recipients is expected to be published later this fall.

Whitten also said, if the state approves a grant amount lower than Toledo’s request, which is an option before legislators, Toledo will be able to draw from their capital improvement fund to make up the difference, as such funding is set aside for these types of projects.

Pratt added, apart from the completion of the new sewer plant, repairs to the water tank are presently the last major infrastructure project for the city to complete, though the expansion of sidewalks and other minor projects are expected to continue.

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