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Published: Wednesday, 6/17/2009

Vote clears way for water tower


Southwestern Lucas County will get a new 2 million-gallon water tower as a result of action yesterday by the county commissioners.

The commissioners voted 2-1 to hire, for $166,000, Toledo consulting engineer Arcadis G&M of Ohio Inc. to design and oversee bidding for construction of a tower next to one at State Rt. 295 and Monclova Road near Swanton.

Jim Shaw, county sanitary engineer, said the 674-foot tower will improve water supply in the summer months, improve water storage, and enhance fire-fighting.

The size of the water system has doubled since a tower was built at the same site nine years ago, Mr. Shaw said. The tank will serve users west of I-475, between Central Avenue and the Maumee River.

Mr. Shaw said the tower will cost about $4 million and is to be done by August, 2010. It is partially funded by a $1 million grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, a low-interest loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority, and by water users.

Commissioner Ben Konop cast the no vote over what he called the appearance of a conflict of interest. All three engineers who approved the contract had previously worked for Arcadis or its predecessor, Finkbeiner, Pettis & Strout.

President Pete Gerken challenged Mr. Konop's argument, saying the three evaluators had been separated from their former employer a long time, and that Mr. Shaw has a good record in evaluating engineering contracts.

The other firms that submitted qualifications were Feller Finch & Associates, Maumee; Jones & Henry Engineers Ltd., Toledo; K.E. McCartney & Associates, Mansfield; Poggemeyer Design Group, Bowling Green; Sponseller Group, Holland, and Tank Industry Consultants, Indianapolis.

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