Pickerington Times-Sun

Tank maintenance coalition may lead to savings

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Pickerington is leading a delegation of six area public utilities in collaborating to have a Kentucky-based company perform water-tank maintenance work for a reduced rate.

The regional coalition, called the "Regional Water Tank Steering Committee," is close to hammering out a deal with Caldwell Tanks Inc. whereupon the company will perform periodic maintenance on each entity's water tanks.

"Pickerington is leading the final regional water tank negotiations with Caldwell," said Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.

"All six public utilities involved (Groveport, Baltimore, Lancaster, Delaware, Fairfield County, and Pickerington) have successfully established the foundation of the tank maintenance programs they would like to have and Caldwell has to now substantiate their ability to provide for these services at a substantiated regional discount rate," Vance said.

Vance said he thinks a collective resolution to the issue will be forthcoming.

"I predict all involved with this regional effort will be able to bring their individual water tank maintenance proposals to their governing bodies in January (or) February," he said.

The regional approach is mutually beneficial to both the participating agencies and Caldwell Tanks because Caldwell can have its workers on hand in one area to perform work on several water storage tanks during the same time period.

Caldwell then passes the savings on down to the public utility agencies.

Ed Drobina, Service Department Manager for Pickerington, said if Pickerington gets "under contract with Caldwell we expect to see savings of 15 percent."

Vance stated in October he projected a potential 10-year agreement with Caldwell with annual payments of $100,000 per year.

He said Caldwell expressed an interest in adopting the creamery water tank in Olde Pickerington Village and then demolishing it -- at no cost -- because of the possibility of its collapse.

Ohio State law makes allow-ances for governments to award multi-year, professional services contracts without having to engage in the competitive bidding process.

Vance said proper tank maintenance requires numerous tasks, including interior and exterior painting, tank wash-outs, routine visual inspections and replacing tank parts and fittings.

A tank maintenance company must also be prepared for such contingencies that result from unforeseen emergencies.

Pickerington currently has three water tanks in the city: a 1-million-gallon tank located off East Columbus Street, a 750,000-gallon water tower located west of Windmiller Drive near Refugee Road and a 500,000-gallon elevated tank off Longview Street.

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