Archive for Wednesday, May 8, 2002

New water towers will increase pressure

May 8, 2002

Baldwin's water pressure problems will soon be a thing of the past.

Monday night, the Baldwin City Council voted 5-0 to build two new elevated water towers, the first of which should be completed by August 2003.

"Now's the time we need to step up to the plate and address these concerns," Council Member George McCrary said. "We need to establish ourselves as a long-term community."

Based on three options, the council decided to build two 750,000-gallon elevated water towers one at Signal Oak and one at the site of the new elementary school on the west edge of town.

The Signal Oak tower will replace the current 1 million-gallon ground water storage tank that is already there. The downtown elevated water tower will be decommissioned and torn down.

Utility Director Terry McKinney said the two new elevated storage tanks will allow one pressure zone throughout the city. Water pressure will be raised by 23 pounds per square inch for all Baldwin residents.

The total cost for the project is $2.1 million. The average customer should see a rate increase of about $4 a month or nearly $50 a year.

Because of their use of Baldwin's towers, the cities of Edgerton and Wellsville will also help with the cost.

Council Member Ken Wagner said he would like to see the Baldwin School District be responsible for some of the cost of the new tower at the elementary school site.

"USD 348 is an educational institution enjoyed by all," he said. "I would like to see USD 348 pay a reasonable amount of construction due to the out-of-town patron use."

There was some concern from one Baldwin resident about the elevated tower that would replace the existing one at Signal Oak.

"It'll just be even more obtrusive and I'm against it in my backyard," said Steve Bauer, who lives at Signal Oak.

McKinney said the city can look at options to make the tower more aesthetically pleasing.

Council Member Todd Cohen said he thought the building the two new towers was the solution to Baldwin's water pressure concerns.

"I think this is a good long-range plan that would solve our issues," Cohen said.

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