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Bid awarded for St. Paul Park Broadway water tower rehab

Marking the entrance to St. Paul Park for decades, the Broadway Avenue water tower overlooking Highway 61 needs of a fresh coat of paint, among other repairs.

After several months of discussion, plans to rehabilitate the tower were finalized last week with the awarding of an $856,652 construction contract to Menomonie-based Classic Protective Coatings, Inc.

Specializing in classic water tank preservation, the work of Classic Protective Coatings, Inc., is strongly supported by the St. Paul Park city staff, City Administrator Kevin Walsh said last week.

In late May, the council approved specs for the reconditioning project after the deterioration of the water tower caught the attention of the Minnesota Department of Health, which placed the project at the top of its priority list. Because the water tower directly relates to the quality of the water in St. Paul Park, the city agreed with the Health Department.

Walsh told council members early on in the discussion that the tower, while not in disrepair, is in need of preventative maintenance work. Plans for the reconditioning include sandblasting the interior and exterior of the tower, with the majority of the work concentrated on the top, a complete replacement of the interior and exterior coatings, partial replacement of interior dry coatings, and other minor structural repairs.

Expensive logo 'unnecessary'

When vehicles driving south on Highway 61 pass by St. Paul Park, they are greeted with a green and blue sign on the tower boasting of the city's proximity to the Mississippi River. However, drivers heading north just see a plain white water tower.

Walsh told the council that it's fairly common for cities to have logos or art on both sides of their water towers. But at an added cost of nearly $20,000, council members weren't sold.

"I don't think it's necessary on both sides," said council member Jennifer Cheesman.

The council unanimously shot down the proposed addition but approved the bid award to Classic Protective Coatings, Inc.

The reconditioning project, Walsh said, will be paid for with a 20-year loan secured from the state's Public Facilities Authority Drinking Water Revolving Fund.

Construction on the water tower is anticipated to begin in August and will last approximately 10 weeks.