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Carlinville Council focuses on water tower repairs

Enquirer~Democrat Reporter

The Oct. 17 Carlinville City Council meeting lasted longer than usual, going for over 45 minutes before adjournment. During that time, several items were discussed including a resignation and several items in case of emergency. The most lengthy discussion was held over the Schien Water Tower, which is in need of several repairs, both immediate and recommended actions.

Schien Water Tower

The Schien Water Tower is located on North University Street behind Carlinville Truck Equipment. In February 2020, SUEZ Advanced Solutions conducted a visual inspection of the tower because of an active leak on the tower. Woodard and Curran was then asked to complete an internal review of the SUEZ report. Woodard and Curran’s report found several concerns, that are also violations of the Ten States Standards, which set the standards for water storage tanks in Illinois.

There are four immediate action items recommended by Woodard and Curran. The first would be to repair the exterior coating on a weld seam of the vent neck. The work would consist of replacing the vent collar, increasing the size and removing the rotational supports from the existing ladder. The welding would then require the tank to undergo coating repair on the interior and exterior of the tank to insure compliance.

The second repair would be the repair of the leak which led to the inspection being done. The third repair is to install an improved locking gate on the ladder and to install locks on the access hatch. The current structure is to easily accessed to conform to the Ten States standards.

The fourth immediate action is to reline the tank as the current lining is in complete failure. The reason the lining is in failure is due to ice forming in the tower and scraping against the lining as the water level rises and falls. Woodard and Curran recommended the installation of a mixing system, which provides other benefits to the water such as a lower water age in the tower.

There are also several recommended actions the City could take while doing the repairs such as installing a modern cable safety system and moving access points to make for safer and easier access to the tank.

Woodard and Curran estimated the cost of the repairs to be from $650,000 and $700,000, assuming inflation increases no more than 3 percent until 2024. The estimation also includes a mixing system at the Schien Ground Storage Tank.

Jen Birger of Woodard and Curran presented the information to the council said that these repairs were not unique as many water storage systems have ti undergo similar repairs. While Birger said that the repairs could be done in stages, it would be more cost effective to do all of the work at once since a specialized contractor would need to be hired for the project. In addition, the tower would have to be drained and taken completely offline for the duration of the repairs.

Alderman Bill Link asked if it would be a good idea to put mixers in all of the water towers stating, “If we have a problem at Schien we’ve got the same problem at Tower Grove.”

Birger said that they could get a quote for an additional mixer and Director of Public Works Dan Held said that the Illinois EPA would like everyone to have a mixer in their water tanks but no one said that the mixer at Tower Grove was necessary at this point.

A plan will be drawn up with the various repairs, a time line of when they could be completed and a breakdown of costs of the project for the council to review.

Emergency Siren at Karmak

The purchase of a new outdoor warning system siren to be placed at Karmak was approved by the council. The total cost of the siren would be $31,502.25. The city will pay 50 percent up front, 40 percent upon equipment delivery and the final 10 percent upon the acceptance of the equipment. The new siren was budgeted for in Fiscal Year 2023 and the purchase was recommended by both the Finance and Safety Committees.

Winter Weather Policy

City Administrator Brian Zilm spoke to the council about updating the city’s winter weather emergency policy since winter is coming up and following snowstorms that plagued the city in early 2022. The council had the policy with some additions and amendments before them. The board approved a motion to have suggested addendums to the policy turned in by the end of the week, Oct. 21 to be voted on during the November city council meetings.

CEO 5K Run

Students from the Macoupin County CEO program were present at the council meeting to ask permission to host the CEO program’s second annual Holiday Hustle 5K. The race would begin at Blackburn to the Plaza, down High Street, around the Courthouse and back to Blackburn via East Main Street and College Ave. They also requested police presence or barricades to block off streets during the event.

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. on Dec. 10 and a fun run begins at 8:50 a.m. The expected finish for the event is 9:30 a.m. The board approved the request.

Other business

Ian Berry submitted his letter of resignation from the Carlinville Police Department to the council, which was accepted. At the end of the meeting, the council granted Chief Dave Haley permission to hire a new Full Time Officer.

Carlinville Wal-Mart submitted a letter to the council asking they be allowed to block off four parking spaces around the Carlinville Square on Thursday, Oct. 27 to participate in Merchants Night. The parking area near AT&T will be blocked off for Wal-Mart’s use. The council approved the request provided that a handicap space is maintained in that area.

Zilm spoke to the council about the property the city is in the process of purchasing where Dugger’s Body Shop was previously located. It has submitted payment for the property and now owes the taxes for 2019 and 2020 as well as a lien amount of $250. The total to pay off is about $3,800. After the payments are made, the city plans to remove the remaining structures on the property and fill-in missing dirt on the property.