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Lewes, Delaware
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November 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 6, 1998

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, November 6 - November 12, 1998 Rehoboth going to referendum on water storage tank project Dec. 5 vote will decide $3.5 million plan By Trish Vernon Voters in the City of Rehoboth Beach will go to the polls on Sat- urday, Dec. 5, to decide whether to borrow approximately $3.5 million to finance the building of two new elevated-water-storage tanks by the year 2000, which of- ficials estimate will increase the populace's water/sewer bills by 10 percent. The Board of Commissioners set the referendum during a spe- cial meeting, immediately follow- ing a very quiet public heating on the matter, held Monday, Nov. 2. They heard a lengthy report from Hans Medlarz and John Davis from the firm of Davis, Bowen & Friedel of Salisbury, Md., and Milford, which was re- tained to present city officials with a detailed plan for replacing the: elevated tank and standpipe located behind the fire hall at the comer of Baltimore Avenue, and erect a second tank on the site of the old waste-water treatment plant along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bank. They concurred with a previous study by Pennoni Associates that a 1.2-million-gallon storage deficiLexists and with a structural evaluation of the existing storage tank by MBA Inc., which identi- fied serious corrosion problems beyond cost-effective rehabilita- tion. Explaining that an elevated- storage system must be opera- tional at all times to meet peak de- mand during high season, it was reported that one must be built and placed in operation before the other can be demolished and a new one constructed. Also, due to fire insurance clas- sifications, the city needs to main- tain downtown storage capacity, with Davis, Bowen & Friedel rec- ommending a new 500,000-gallon tank to replace the 250,000-gallon tank and 165,000-gallon stand- pipe. At the canal bank site, con- ditions are optimal because the city already owns the land and it offers good hydraulic compatibili- ty with the existing water distribu- tion system. They went on to note that there will be minimal impact on the surroundings at this site, which presents no adverse envi- only be judged as fair in terms of maintenance requirements. A steel-fluted-column tank was rated better in safety and storage, but rated low in maintenance as- pects and in the massive support tower, which officials agreed wouldn't fit in aesthetically. They advised the city to choose between a sPheroid design with a slender support tower and a futuristic rounded storage tank. It is said to have excellent maintenance and economy value as well. A fourth design, composite-steel tank with concrete column, was deemed a close second, although some peo- pie may not like its modern, straight appearance. Commissioner Patti Shreeve said she appreciated their concern for aesthetics, noting she has "no problem" with the steel-leg tank- style similar to the elevated tank now Standing downtown. She said she is concerned that if either of the two favored structures is con- structed downtown it will have considerable visual impact, as they are larger and very modem in appearance. Davis agreed, noting that the composite-steel tank seems to fit in better with its surroundings than the spheroid design. In closing their report, they stat- ed, "The city must act in a timely manner to ensure adequate elevat- ed-water-storage capacity to meet the current and 20-year planning period needs of its residents and businesses." Medlarz was emphatic when he added, "There isn't time to waste and we hope the public approves this program with some urgency. There's a lot of catching up to be done." Jim Fagan, with JWF Associ- ates of Annandale, Va,, who is performing a water rate study for" the city, reported on how this pro- ject will impact property owners' water bills. He assured them that considering the magnitude of the $3 million to $4 million project, the impact on rates should be rela- tively small. Fagan said one ma- jor factor is that the city has been fiscally conservative in the past, not incurring a lot of debt and, therefore, in a better position to absorb the cost of this major capi- tal improvement. He was pleased to note that the city's debt for the new waste-wa- ter treatment plant is about to be retired and the 10-year financing Continued on page 20 MTIlRB ALL SALES FINAL AS IS NO OTHER DISCOUNTS APPLY* ADD $25 FOR LOCAL DELIVERY Hurry In For The Best Selection. Sale Ends Nov. 14 ronmental impact, either, if the l- million-gallon elevated storage tank is erected. They went on to compare four different types of storage tanks,, advising strongly against erecting another steel leg tank downtown, similar to the one that now exists. It can be easily vandalized and ac- cess results in high liability, with no dry storage available. They al- so said the appearance is not very aesthetically pleasing and it can i Major Credit Cards Accepted Financing Available (O.A.C.) (302)-856-6365 (800)-893-0307 Mon-SaP. !0 t6, Sun: 12 to 5 Imtl  PIw),. g at Rt. 30 (4 miim Ecmt   J