NEW ULM - The New Ulm Public Utilities Commission accepted a low bid of $268,000 from MK Painting Inc. for the airport water tower reconditioning project.
The airport water tower was constructed in 1988, and its original coating is deteriorating.
City Manager Brian Gramentz said the water tower would likely be replaced in 20 years, and this reconditioning project would protect the interior and exterior until that time. The tower will be painted to match the color of the newly constructed Nehls Park Water Tower.
The engineer's estimate for project cost was $308,000.
The project will include upgrades to the condensate system, access doors, and a safety system to the internal ladder. The handrails at the top of the tower will be replaced with a system capable of accommodating cellular antenna equipment. PUC staff is negotiating a lease with a cellular operator for a 12-antenna installation at the site. The lease would provide substantial revenue for the Water Department.
Gramentz also reported a delay in the painting of the Nehls Tower. The company in charge of the painting has experienced delays in winter work in the South.
2013 City Survey
The commission reviewed and accepted the 2013 Survey of Public Services. The survey was submitted to 300 New Ulm residents; 75 in each ward. Of the 300 submitted, approximately half were returned. In most areas, residents marked an improvement in services. Gramentz suggested the survey was a good tool for city departments when evaluating the following year's budget.
April 17 was the last day for Utilities Director Patrick Wrase. Wrase took a position in Edina to be closer to his family who had relocated nine months earlier.
April 7 Noise Disturbance
Gramentz explained the jet-like noise heard on April 7 was the result of steam released at the Public Utilities Building. In preparation for the new turbine system NUPU were conducting steam flushing to clear the lines. Gramentz said neighboring residents were informed beforehand, but he said it would be wise to alert the entire city in the future.