Groveport has joined five other area communities to negotiate with Kentucky-based Caldwell Tanks Inc. for a long-term water tank maintenance agreement at a reduced rate.
The Regional Water Tank Steering Committee includes representatives from Groveport, Baltimore, Lancaster, Delaware, Fairfield County and Pickerington. According to Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall, the committee advertised a request for proposals and chose Caldwell Tanks from among the firms that replied.
"The costs are still being negotiated and the savings will be a percentage, based on the number of tanks in the consortium," Hall said. "Right now, our tank total for all the municipalities will provide us with a 15-percent cost savings."
Hall said Groveport's water tanks have not been maintained on a consistent basis. Of the two tanks used by the city, she said the older, smaller tank will be demolished in the near future because of its age and condition.
"This is one of the reasons that a long-term contract such as this is beneficial," Hall said. "It assures that ongoing maintenance is being performed. The services Caldwell Tanks will provide is specific to each tank, based on an inspection that has been performed, but services routinely included cleaning and disinfection of both the interior and exterior (of the tanks), painting, certain repairs and annual inspections."
Pickerington City Manager Bill Vance contacted the other entities seeking interest in the consortium, Hall said.
"There's been so much talk about savings through regional cooperation and this program is a great example of that," she said.
According to Vance, the regional approach is mutually beneficial to both the consortium and Caldwell Tanks because the vendor can more efficiently schedule its employees in one area to perform work on several water storage tanks during the same time period, and can then pass those savings along to the public utilities.
If negotiations are successful, the agreement is likely to be for a 10-year period, which Hall said will allow for some of the more expensive maintenance issues to be spread out.
"The one thing we knew, this long-term contract will spread the costs of the more expensive maintenance items, such as painting, over the length of the contract," Hall said. "This will provide a set annual cost that will be easier for the city to budget."
Vance said he believes the consortium members will seek approval of the maintenance agreement in January and February. Once all members receive approval to move forward, the negotiated agreement would become active.