The Crestview water tower painting project is on track to be completed in early 2018.

After awarding a contract to Maguire Iron in November, the city and the Sioux Fall, S.D-based company met earlier this month for the first preconstruction meeting. That meeting has set the project on track to be completed by May 15, 2018.

The city’s water tower will be overhauled in 2018. Maguire Iron will strip all the existing paint off the tower before applying a fresh new coat. The project will cost $598,100.

Because the project has a high price tag and some safety issues, the city and Maguire Iron met well ahead of the contract’s mid-February start date.

Water/Wastewater Superintendent Kevin Quaethem said the first meeting was to formally sign the contract and get all the paperwork in order, but to also allow Maguire and the city to iron out safety plans for the project. The pint removal portion of the project will require the tower to be tented to prevent the lead-based paint from escaping the site.

Quaethem said with the tent system, the city and Maguire need to be safe. That means that during high winds — speeds above 15 mph — work will have to stop and the tent taken down.

Donohue & Associates is assisting the city with the project. Quaethem said a representative from Donohue will be at the city’s board of public works meeting Tuesday, Jan. 9, to go over the full plans with the board. The goal is to get everyone on the same page, he added.

Once that’s done, Quaethem said the next step will be a more traditional preconstruction meeting in February. The site of the water tower is fairly small and Maguire will have large equipment.

“It will be an on-site meeting,” he said. “They’ll be here and we’ll go over where they’re going to put their equipment. They’ve got a trailer with things in and they need to know where they are going to set it. We’ll figure out if there’s anything else they need before they start work.”

Quaethem said with the contract signed, Maguire is now in the process of ordering what it needs, including the sand to blast the old paint off.

While Maguire is working out the big stuff, the city is finalizing the small stuff. Quaethem said the city is making plans for what will go on the tower.

Right now the tower simply reads “Washington” in simple block letters. Qua-ethem said the city is considering a more script wordmark for the new version.

“We’re going to go away from the block font and go to a more flowy version,” he said.

Additionally, he said the tower will display the URL for the city’s webiste: ci.washington.mo.us.

Quaethem said the city also is picking colors. 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 up as much.

“We haven’t decided yet, but we may have the lighter blue where it just starts to roll off the top of the bowl and then the darker blue coming down the column and then back to light blue,” he said.

Once the paint is applied, Quaethem said the new coat should last 25 years.

In addition to the painting, Maguire will be replacing failing interior pipe and adding a mixing system to the tower.

The board began talking about the need to repaint the tower last November. 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 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.

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.