Top stories of 2012: Water tower and water line plans move forward

From Staff Reports Published:

Streetsboro -- Plans for the city's 1.5 million gallon water tower are quickly coming to fruition.

The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved the site plan for the structure Nov. 13, which Mayor Glenn Broska said would cost $3.6 million to $3.9 million.

"The water tower will be bid out in the next 60 to 90 days," he said, adding the cost will be covered by the water department.

The facility will be located off Route 43 on the old Carter Lumber site, which is now home to the city's water department.

"It was really kind of fortuitous that Carter Lumber became available because I believe it is the highest point in the city," said Broska.

Said AbouAbdallah of Arcadis, project manager of the water tower's construction, said the base would be fenced in and monitored by security cameras.

"I think some of these advanced security cameras can still pick up movement without light," he said.

Broska said the tower is needed to help provide water pressure to some areas of town with narrow water lines and low pressure.

"There are areas that are underpressured because of the way the water lines are connected up," he said, describing a spot on Gillie Drive where a fire hydrant's pressure was so low the department was only able to get air from it once. "It will enable us to equalize water pressure throughout the city."

He said the water tower also could reduce reliance on outside sources of water in an emergency which shuts off the water supply from another source.

The city announced another major water project in 2012 -- the installation of water lines throughout the Sunny Slopes subdivision, just north of the Ohio Turnpike off Route 43. Broska said the entire cost could be between $1.3 million and $1.8 million.

There are no water lines in Sunny Slopes, where residents rely on well water, but Broska said he plans to change that.

"I hear about that all the time," he said. "Those folks have been promised water lines for years, and the city has never gotten around to it. It's not fair to them."

Part of the money for the Sunny Slopes project could come from the city's 2013 budget, which City Council first discussed publicly on Dec. 3.

The city has budgeted $500,000 for water line projects, according to city's temporary budget for 2013.

Terrell said the city is planning on putting water lines in all the streets in the Sunny Slopes development. That includes Sunny Lane, Gaynelle Avenue, and Andy, Fronek, Meldon and Michael drives.

The city will not pay for the whole project, though, according to Broska.

"Any water line project will be an assessment project," Broska said. "[Otherwise,] it wouldn't be fair to the residents who have been assessed for water line projects in the past. Traditionally, the city has picked up a portion of the cost, but that amount has yet to be determined."

Broska said the project will ultimately come down to what City Council decides.

"There is money in the budget for water lines," he said. "The project will be under discussion by Council."

Finance Director Mitch Michalec said the budget must be approved by March 31.

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