Water tower referendum on the horizon

Terry RogersGovernment, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Milford City Council authorized the costs to design a new water tower which could lead to a referendum in the future

At a recent meeting, Milford City Council approved a proposal from KCI to design a proposed 300,000 gallon water tower for the Milford Corporate Center. The approval was for no more than $60,000 which covers Geotech investigations, site permitting, soil borings, tank design and construction document preparation. An additional $10,000 was approved for permit fees and contingencies, an amount that was available in the approved Capital Improvement Plan as part of the 2024-25 budget.

“Design and construction of the water tower will take approximately two years to complete. Design takes six months. Fabrication takes 12 to 18 months.,” Willis Shafer, Director of Public Works, said. “The total cost to construct the water tower treatment plant and wellfield is approximately $7 million. This project will require debt financing, which the terms will exceed five years and the loan package would require a city wide referendum. The Southeast water tower was a similar project and required a referendum.”

Councilman Jason James asked if the amount set aside in the budget covered the estimated costs. Lou Vitola, Finance Director, explained that there was about $200,000 set aside for the project, but that it was meant to cover more than just the design of the tower. Councilman James stated that he just wanted to be sure council was not approving more than allocated. Shafer stated that there would be additional infrastructure designs for the water system that additional funding would be used to cover. Councilman Dan Marabello asked how the 300,000 gallon amount was determined. Shafer stated that KCI recommended that amount after conducting the initial drilling.

“I’m not concerned about that,” Councilman Marabello said. “I’m just concerned about the needs going forward with our expansion.”

City Manager Mark Whitfield stated that KCI conducted a study of the entire northeast section of the city to determine water needs.

“So, in combination with the other towers that we have, their recommendation was a 300,000 gallon tank. And one of the things you have to be careful of is you don’t oversize your tank where you don’t get enough turnover in water which we experienced in one of one of our other tanks,” Whitfield said. “So, this in combination with the tank on 10th Street by Wawa will be more than enough to serve that area. And the two of them combined will give us about 800,000 gallons of water a year, which is a lot.”

Councilman Marabello had a question about the debt but stated that he understands that was not up for discussion during that meeting. Whitfield stated that would be discussed at another time.

Council approved the proposal by KCI for $60,000 with an additional $10,000 for contingencies unanimously.

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