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Water tower refurbishment to cost more than expected

Projected cost rises from $2 million to $2.5 million
Water tower

ESTEVAN - The refurbishment of Estevan’s water tower is going to cost more than the initial projection.  

In a letter to city council for the May 24 meeting, Shane Bucsis, the water and wastewater services manager for the city, said sandblasting of the inner bowl has been completed, but after it was finished, a major issue with the beams on the roof of the tower was discovered.

“This is an important part of the structure as it holds the roof and acts as a stabilizer for the bottom,” said Bucsis.

He told council that in the early stages, the city had engineers inspect the structure, and it didn’t turn up the damage to the beams.

The work needs to be completed during the next five years, Bucsis said, and the current cost of the repair is $628,500, with another company bidding $890,000. The engineering consultant is looking at the breakdown of the cost to see if there is anywhere for cost savings, and he is collaborating with another company to see if the costs can be lowered, but Bucsis doubts they would be able to find any significant savings. 

The estimated cost to repair the water tower was $2 million, to be funded by the federal gas tax. The beam repair will push the cost to upwards of $2.5 million. Gas tax funding can still be used, but the city will have to cover the overage. 

Bucsis noted there was money set aside for the undergrounds for Sixth Street this year, but they won’t be doing that road work, so that money can be used for the water tower.

He had two other options: postponing the work on the water tower, but still completing it within the next five years.

Bucsis noted that to do the repair later, it would be around $1.4 million, because a lot of the same work would need to be repeated.

The other was to scrap the water tower work, and expand the Smith Street reservoir to cover the capacity, but the cost of that was $4 million three years ago.

Bucsis said a decision needed to be made, as the beam issues were holding up other parts of the job.