Council approves bid to repair landmark East Providence water tower
Cost is significantly less than what was anticipated prior to request process
EAST PROVIDENCE — City residents will soon no longer need to avert their eyes in revulsion when they peer up at the dilapidated landmark water tower on the Kent Heights grounds.
That’s because the council, at its May 16 meeting, accepted a formal bid to renovate the tired structure with the aim of having the project concluded some time this calendar year.
City Manager Tim Chapman presented the body with the one and only response to a recent Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by his office and the Public Works Department. Atlas Painting and Sheeting Corp. of Amherst, N.Y., was the lone firm to submit a bid, which came in at $1.540,000.
Mr. Chapman noted it was rarely a good situation to have just one response to a RFP, though in this case the figure quoted by Atlas came in significantly less than the estimated cost of the project. Experts, both inside and outside of the city, had predicted the internal and external repair of the 20-year-old tower could approach some $2.5 million. As such, the council previously approved a bond for that amount, but the city will now have to borrow much less money.
“That’s a good deal,” emphatically said Ward 3 Councilman Joe Botelho, in whose district the tower rests and who ran for office last year in part on an agenda to have the rusted structure refurbished.
Public Works Director Steve Coutu said Atlas has a preliminary start date of “late summer,” when the company will “mobilize setup.” That process includes erecting staging and readying the property for the construction. The tower will also need to be taken out of service for the duration of the project, the director said. Mr. Coutu added the actual exterior painting won’t likely take place until the fall, though the entire project is anticipated to be finished by the end of the year.
In addition to the cost of the renovations, Atlas submitted a separate bid of $14,000 to adorn the repainted tower with a logo, previously decided to be an interlocking “EP” insignia similar to the one used by East Providence High School athletic teams.
Mr. Botelho again expressed his enthusiasm for the relative low cost of the logo, saying he recently read the town of Woodbury, Minnesota paid significantly more for an emblem during a similar tower refurbishing project. The logo there cost some $250,000 to produce.
At Mr. Coutu’s suggestion, and with the acquiescence of the council, it was suggested the insignia be placed on the northwest quadrant of the tower, which is the view most often visible to motorists driving on Interstate 195 and other passersby on the periphery of the city.