Council discusses water tower locations

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — At a recent study session, the Tipp City council discussed possible locations for a water tower to replace the aging tank on Bowman Avenue.

Eric Mack, Tipp City’s deputy director of municipal services, presented council with several location options for a new tower, which include on S. Hyatt Street near Barbara Drive, behind Liberty Commons, and just to the west of the city’s Service Center building.

The criteria for locations were properties on the low-pressure side of the system that were at least half an acre with enough space for a half million gallon tank pedestal tower and proximity to a large water main.

City staff recommended that the first location would be the best — which at an estimated cost of $2.3 million is the mid-priced option — because of its limited residential exposure and the additional 800 gallons per minute of additional fire flow it would provide the system.

The site is partly located on a flood plain and would need to be acquired by the city, Mack added.

“If council wants to move forward, the next steps would be applying for the OPWC interest-free loan,” he said.

The city could also opt to rehabilitate the tower at an estimated cost of $800,000 to $1 million. To do this, the tower would have to be taken out of service twice, once for the painting of the exterior and again to refinish the interior.

“I still don’t think we would get 65 more years out of that tower putting that money in it,” Councilman John Kessler said. “Long term, that’s poorly spent money.”

The 350,000 gallon Bowman Avenue tower was built in 1935 and was supposed to be demolished after the completion of tower No. 3.

A 2015 report from Dixon Engineering concluded that taking the tank offline would result in a minor reduction to peak service pressure. The study also reported that removing it could result in a substantial reduction in fire flow in areas around Elm Street, Hyatt Street, and Park Avenue, including the downtown area and Broadway Elementary.

Council asked what the impact of building a new tower would be to the city’s budget. Finance Director John Green said that the city would be “looking at about $120,000 a year for 20 years,” which he noted was less than the city would have spent on maintaining the current towers for the next 30 years.

The city had planned for rehabilitation of the Bowman Avenue tower, he added.

“It’s kind of six of one, half a dozen of the other,” Green said.

In other business, the city’s new law director, Jonathon Freeman was sworn in.

Freeman replaces David Caldwell, law director since 2012. Kevin Lantz has served as the interim director since July.

Council also approved a contract for the final component of the substation No. 3 improvement project.

The city awarded the bid to Professional Electric Products of Akron for the purchase of major equipment and steel at a cost of $268,100.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at