By Joe Barker

Missourian Staff Writer

Next month the Crestview water tower is going to look much different.

When the painting project begins, the tower will be tarped off and hidden from public view. Joel Ogle, field representative with Maguire Iron, told the board of public works Tuesday the entire tower will be covered and fully contained while his crews work on removing paint.

The painting project is scheduled to start in mid-February with a target completion date of May 15. Maquire Iron, Sioux Falls, S.D., will strip all the existing paint off the tower before applying a fresh new coat. The project will cost $598,100.

Ogle said the first step of the project will be to construct the rigging for the tarp. Some of the paint on the tower is lead based, so Maquire will have to mitigate the lead, he said.

That process involves creating a totally contained worksite. Rigging will be set up at the top of the tower.

Ogle said the ground will actually all be tarped as well. The tarp, when not in use, will be on the ground and raised up to the rigging on the top of the tower while crews are working.

He added the tarp will be lowered if winds exceed 20 miles per hour. No work can be done while the tarp is being lowered.

Once the paint is removed, Ogle said the remains will be stored in drums and disposed of off- site. After all the paint is gone, a zinc-based primer will be applied to the tower before the colored paint is added.

Ogle said Washington’s tower is in excellent shape. He didn’t envision there being any significant damage that would require welding. Most of the rust is surface rust.

The bulk of the tank is likely to be a light blue color called “clear sky.” A second color, a darker blue, may be used on the underside of the tank. The idea is to make the area where it’s moldy now a darker color so new mold won’t show.

The paint should last 25 years.

Additionally, Maquire Iron crews will be installing a new mixing system and a brand new fill pipe. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Kevin Quaethem said the fill pipe was damaged several years ago after a leak was undiscovered for some time.

The pipe was compromised, but still usable. Quaethem said it could probably be repaired, but with the scope of this project, he said it would be easier to just have it replaced now while work is being done.

The board began talking about the need to repaint the tower in November 2016. The water tower is structurally sound, but needs a new coat of paint because rust has started to show.

Because of the lead-based paint, Donohue & Associates was selected in May to be the city’s engineering firm for the painting project. The contract will pay Donohue $33,000 for the service.

The city had originally hoped to have the project completed in 2017, but as the scope grew larger, it pushed plans back to this fall. Because the tower is in such good shape, Quaethem has said the city can afford to wait a few months before painting. Money is already allocated for the project in the current year’s budget.

The Crestview tower was built in the 1970s. Quaethem said with regular maintenance, it could have a 100-year life span.