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Published: Wednesday, 10/11/2006

Lyons seeks water-tower grants


LYONS - Lyons Village Council and its employees are looking for state and federal grants and loans to help with a recommended $270,000 in renovations to the village's early 1950s water tower.

Most pressing, according to an inspection done in July, is painting the inside of the 100,000-gallon tower at North Adrian and West Morenci streets. A food-grade wax coating that protects the tank's metal parts from rusting is wearing away, said Ziad Musallam, Fulton County sanitary engineer. The village has a contract with the county for water and wastewater technical assistance.

He recommends the village paint the interior of the tower with epoxy at a cost of $40,000 to $50,000 next year.

Wax is an older technology that would be about half the cost, but it lasts about five years while epoxy is expected to last about 15 years.

"So, mathematically, the paint is more fiscally responsibly to do than the wax," Mr. Musallam said.

The village, however, "doesn't have an extra $50,000 laying around," village administrator Vicki Smith said, adding that leaders are checking into loans and grants.

The summer tower inspection, not required but recommended every five years, also proposes exterior painting and installation of newer ladders, access hatches, and vents.

Water towers typically last 50 to 75 years. So Lyons' tower, the original one, is at the upper end of that spectrum, Mr. Musallam said. But he said renovations are definitely a better deal than replacing the tower. Installing a new tank would cost about $450,000.

About 420 residential and commercial customers get their water from the village water tower.

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