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Cottage Grove water tower project approved on split vote

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Cottage Grove water tower project approved on split vote
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

With two water towers in Cottage Grove beginning to show their age, Public Works Director Les Burshten said it’s time to repaint and repair.

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The towers — a one-million gallon tank in West Draw Park and a three-million gallon tank on 81st Street behind Fire Station No. 2 — need to be fixed within the next couple of years, Burshten said.

During the last few months, the Public Works Department has been working with engineering firm SEH and contractors Classic Protective Coatings to strike a deal.

A professional services contract was created, which pairs up SEH and Classic Protective Coatings in an agreement to provide maintenance and rehabilitation to the city for a 10-year warranty period.

The contract details costs to the West Draw water tower around $793,500, while the cost to rehab the 81st Street water tower is $936,000, funding for which is available in the city’s water utility fund.

But in an effort to reduce strain on the city’s water system, Burshten recommended fixing one water tower at a time.

Following the department’s direction, the City Council gave the green light for contractors to repaint and repair the West Draw water tower in 2014, and deferred action on the 81st Street tower project until 2015.

However, the decision was made after a 3-2 vote, with council member Justin Olsen and Jen Peterson dissenting. Olsen said he felt comfortable approving both projects.

City Finance Director Robin Roland said deferring the 81st Street water tower project until 2015 would increase annual expenditures but would avoid a large, upfront cost of paying for both projects now.

The 2015 project, although deferred, is locked in at the $936,000 price.

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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