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Water tower color scheme would add $44,000 to cost

In an upcoming meeting, Jamestown officials will discuss possible color schemes to be painted on the newly constructed water tower in southwest Jamestown. (John M. Steiner / The Sun)1 / 2
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Jamestown officials plan to discuss the paint scheme for the city’s new water tower during the Public Works Committee meeting on Feb. 20. The two designs under consideration have a cost difference of $44,300.

0 Talk about it

The 750,000-gallon water tower is located south of the I-94 Business Park and was completed last fall. The total cost of the water tower and associated water lines was $4.1 million, which included a $25,000 option to paint the tower blue and use the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. logo. A second, more expensive option would use more paint colors and not include the logo.

“I thought we should discuss if we should spend any additional funds on this scheme or go back to something else,” Mayor Katie Andersen said while introducing the topic at the City Council meeting Monday.

Travis Dillman, project engineer for Interstate Engineering, said the base bid for the project included white exterior paint with the word “Jamestown” in black letters. At the time of the bid, the city opted for the optional single color paint scheme with a logo. Since then, the new four-color paint scheme has been developed.

The new plan showing half circles of various colors and the words “Jamestown, North Dakota,” displayed on the side of the tower facing Interstate 94 would add an additional $44,300 to the cost compared to the currently planned blue-colored tower, Dillman said.

“The main thing running up the cost is their concern for when you lay out the circles you have color contrast and with the winds in North Dakota, they are concerned where that drip will go,” he said.

Exterior painting would be limited to days with winds of less than 15 mph while interior painting could proceed in any conditions, he said. The contract proposal allows an extra 30 days to complete the more complicated paint scheme.

Councilman Dan Buchanan asked if more communities are choosing designer paint schemes for water towers.

“It is getting more common,” Dillman said. “My belief, as time has gone and especially the last 10 years, people are trying to make their water towers more of a flagship.”

Andersen said images of the water tower could be used in community promotional material.

“When they’re printed in the calendar and used in marketing materials saying we have the resources here to grow,” she said. “This visual of the water tower provides the right image.”

Councilman Ramone Gumke said the decision should be based on a cost versus benefit analysis.

“I really like the way this looks,” he said referring to the new paint scheme. “I just don’t know if it’s worth the $44,000.”

Dillman estimated the tower paint will last about 20 years.

The item was moved to the Public Works agenda. If approved by the committee, the color scheme would move to the March 3 City Council agenda.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at