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Safety Concerns, Reinforcement Expenses Cited as Main Reasons for RGC Water Tank Demolition

On Saturday morning, May 4, crews began demolition work on the decommissioned 2 million-gallon (MG) water tank located on the corner of HWY 83 and Santo Niño St., just West of Fort Ringgold. Plans to demolish the water tank, as well as to repair and improve two other municipal water tanks were discussed at a City meeting held in early March of this year.

At the regular meeting of the City Commission held on, March 13, the city approved a contract with Maguire Iron, Inc. through an existing cooperative contract with BuyBoard to make repairs and improvements to the 300 thousand-gallon elevated storage tank located at Hidalgo St., and to a second 1.5 MG tank located at Santo Niño St.. The total expense amount proposed to the city to demolish the 2 MG tank was $60,000, and the total expense amount for the repairs and improvements done to additional tanks was $135,000. At the March 13 meeting, Commissioner Rey Ramirez asked whether repairing the old 2.5 MG tank was still a viable option. “I know some people were concerned about demolishing it and instead maybe keeping it around as a landmark,” stated Ramirez.

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In response, Michael Bruck, Regional Manager at Maguire Iron, Inc. pointed out that repairing the decommissioned 2 MG tank would be more expensive than demolishing it. “There’s a missing beam [within the structure], and you have calcium caltrate buildup about six inches thick on the side of those tanks. So if we came in, and say, cut two-thirds or three-quarters of the tank away and left the bulletin board facing the street you’d spend more than sixty or seventy thousand dollars putting up reinforcements to hold that in place.” In addition to the expense associated with repairing the tank, safety concerns were also a factor in the City's decision to demolish the entire structure. At the meeting, Mr. Bruck mentioned the tank's exterior shell is only a metal wall about five-eighth of an inch thick. "I know that there are also concerns about maybe a tornado coming through or bad weather that the whole thing might collapse," added Commissioner Ramirez. According to Bruck, following demolition, the tank's foundation will remain in good condition leaving the city with plenty of options for future projects in the area. “The good thing is, the foundation will still be there and it is probably twelve to fourteen feet down so you can put any metal building you want in there, you can put parking there. You can build a round building. You can put signage up. There’s a lot you can do with that foundation in place that will be a better expense for you.”

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