Tower going up but water must wait

The water tower is nearing the point when the two pieces sitting side-by-side behind the city hall will be assembled. However, the water service will have to wait until summer before the tower is finished and connected to the water system in New England. Herald photo by Brad Mosher

The City of New England will soon have a water tower erected behind the city hall, but the residents will have to wait a little longer for it to come online.

Brad Mosher

The Herald

According to Mayor Marty Opdahl, the water tower should be assembled by about Nov. 15, depending on the weather.

“It should be assembled by the week of Nov. 15. That is when they are planning to try to start lifting it,” he said.

“If it is cold weather, it might slow them up. We’ve had some snow here. I don’t know if that will slow them up, but that is what their plans are,” he said.

He praised the construction crew handling the water tower. “They are quite a crew working on this,” he said. “I would venture to say they are going to continue to work, but I know this kind of weather can slow you down a little bit, too.”

“I am surprised they are as far as they are. I expected it to be more like the middle of December (to be assembled). I think they are actually ahead of schedule,” the mayor explained.

The water tower will not be operational until in the early summer of 2019, the mayor added.

When the weather warms up, the tower will be able to be completed, painted and brought online.

“The water tower will not be activated until June because they can’t paint the inside of the tank or the outside of the tank until June because there is a special epoxy paint that they have to use. It has to be above 60 degrees for about 60 days. There is a certain timeframe with certain requirements for the paint. They can not be pumping water through it until it is painted on the inside and has a finish on the inside and the outside.

“We are expecting that to be the end of June probably … or in that general vicinity,” the mayor explained.

The tower is part of the third phase of a multi-million dollar water improvement project.

The total for the project would amount to approximately $17 million, but by breaking it into phases, the city was able to enable it to qualify for federal grants and loans to lower the cost to the city and the residents.

“We were able to get all of these improvements and get them done probably done for less than half the cost because of the grant money we would get. A huge benefit of this is that we are getting the streets repaired at the same time because there is no federal money to fix the streets. But, because we have to go under the streets to replace the water mains, we are getting our streets fixed too,” he said.

The giant project was needed to replace 70-year old water pipes in the community that were being corroded over time.

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