Water tower: Project needed, developers say; it may come in 2013A new water tower may add to the skyline of south Jamestown as early as next year. Developers with property within Jamestown south of U.S. Interstate 94 say the project is necessary and development in the area has been slowed by a lack of water.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
A new water tower may add to the skyline of south Jamestown as early as next year. Developers with property within Jamestown south of U.S. Interstate 94 say the project is necessary and development in the area has been slowed by a lack of water.
“Water issues are absolutely hurting development in that area,” said Jayne Meyer, managing partner of Liechty Associates, a family partnership that owns property west of the Buffalo Mall. “We’re hoping this is all resolved so development can continue.”
City officials said they were limiting development in the area.
“Building permits in the area of Jamestown south of Interstate are looked at on a case-by-case basis,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. “The city doesn’t want to stymie growth but we’ve reached the maximum we’re comfortable with.”
Schwartzkopf said water supplies in that area would be insufficient to fight two significant fires at the same time.
Meyer said the partnership had granted easements through its property for water and sewer services for Jamestown Regional Medical Center but did not believe it would be able to get a building permit for any project on the land.
Clarice Liechty, former mayor of Jamestown and an owner of another property in the area, said the problem is also communications. Clarice Liechty is not a partner in Liechty Associates.
“They need to let the public in on what they are doing,” she said. “Let the public know the size (of the tower) and how they determine it. I invest in this community but with no communications how can someone decide if they want to invest. Are outside investors getting information that local citizens aren’t getting?”
The city has contracted with Interstate Engineering for preliminary engineering work on a water tower project in the area.
“Right now we’re in data collection,” said Travis Dillman, project engineer for Interstate Engineering. “The big things are site selection and verifying the sizing.”
The current timeline for the project involves completing preliminary engineering work this summer. The City Council could then make the selection of the site based on that engineering work. The bids would be let during the winter with construction beginning in the spring of 2013 and completed that fall.
“We’re looking at five sites that are still being considered,” Dillman said. “The costs of the water lines to supply the tower depend on the location of the tower so determining the site is a big step towards the final project.”
Dillman said if the bids are let during the winter the contractor could have the metal components of the tower fabricated during the winter for erection during the summer.
The water tower’s size is another concern. The current working plan is for a 750,000-gallon tower.
“It’s a balancing act,” Dillman said. “You look at the current use and the development potential. You want a tower big enough to meet needs but if it’s too big there becomes a water quality issue.”
If the water tower is too large the water stays in the tower longer and can deteriorate or go stale.
In the meantime, two projects in that area are under consideration. A new building for Titan Machinery west of JRMC would be considered a transfer of the water use from its existing facility. Schwartzkopf said the developers of a planned motel project have been informed water for firefighting purposes may not be available if they complete construction prior to the completion of the water tower.
Schwartzkopf said he hoped to see the tower placed on property that could serve multiple uses for the city.
“We’d like to place something like the new fire station on the same property,” he said. “I’d hate to get the water tower and have no other use for the land.”
Preliminary cost estimates for the water tower are estimated at about $2.8 million while the entire project, including water mains, could total $4.1 million.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com