Water Tower Washington

The Crestview water tower’s new paint job could cost nearly $600,000.

Washington’s Board of Public Works backed the low bid for the painting project at Tuesday morning’s meeting. The board’s recommendation will be passed along to the city council, which will then vote on awarding the contract at a future meeting.

Four companies submitted bids for the tower painting project, with the lowest coming from Maquire Iron at $598,100. The board supported awarding the contract to the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company.

The city had budgeted $700,000 for the project.

Other bids came from Thomas Industrial Coatings, Pevely, $722,967; TMI Coatings, St. Paul, Minn., $743,000; and Trikote, Pacific, $648,000.

The proposed contract calls for the complete removal of all coats of paint, a new mixing system, and a complete repainting of the tower.

Work is expected to begin in February 2018. The agreement calls for the project to have substantial completion by May 1, 2018, and final completion by May 15, 2018.

Project Background

The board starting talking about the need to repaint the tower last November. The water tower is structurally fine, but needs a new coat of paint because rust has started to show. Because of lead-based paint involved, 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.

Donohue was brought on board to prepare bid specifications for the work. Donohue created a 350-plus page document for vendors. The document lays out exactly how the contractors will need to handle the painting project. It covers the tenting procedure needed to deal with the removal of lead paint.

Bids were due Tuesday, Sept. 26.

A reason for the high price tag is because all the current paint has to be removed. The tower has reached its limit of coats of paint — at a certain thickness the paint no longer sticks. The whole tower has to be completely stripped down to the base.

Since the base layer was painted with lead paint, Quaethem said a “big canvas” will be needed to cover the tower to keep the work completely contained.

The city had originally hoped to have the project completed this spring, but as the scope grew bigger, it pushed plans back to this fall. Because the tower is in such good shape, he 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.