ANGLETON — With the water tower near Southside Elementary School in disrepair, City Council approved engineering design plans for a new 500,000-gallon elevated storage water tank.

City Manager Scott Albert said the city planned to refurbish the existing water tower, but the $1.3 million estimated cost — with additional undetermined costs possible — didn’t make economic sense.

“The tank had rust pockets and it would have been like giving a blank check to a contractor,” Albert said. “So we decided to look at building a new water tower.”

The city agreed there was a need for a new water tower, but the size and cost of the project has created discussion, Albert said.

City officials will consider amending the contract approved this week with Freese and Nichols this week to expand the tank capacity to 750,000 gallons, which is only a 15 percent engineering cost increase, Albert said.

The engineering contract for the smaller tank will cost the city $260,000, while the 750,000-gallon tank will cost $299,000, Albert said.

Councilman Cody Vasut believes the larger tank is the better long-term approach.

“If we have bond capacity, it just makes sense,” Vasut said. “We’re growing, we’re planning for the future. If there’s any doubt at all and we have the money, we should do it.”

The overall cost for constructing the 750,000-gallon tank would be $3.3 million compared to $2.5 million for the 500,000-gallon structure.

But city officials said paying more now saves maintenance costs down the road.

Either way, the new water tank should last for 75 years, Albert said. The current tower has lasted a little more than 40 years, he said.

Vasut said the new water tower is among several water projects council will hear about during a debt issuance briefing from the city manager July 23.

The tower is supported by the city’s water budget in an infrastructure bond, Vasut said. If there’s room in the budget for the larger water tower, Vasut said, the city will amend the contract.

Albert said council could take action on the project during its Aug. 9 meeting.

Courtney Blackann is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.

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