A newer, bigger and potentially more aesthetic water storage tank is set to join the recreational facilities and accompanying infrastructure planned for the future Westside Regional Park at Hargett Farm.
Frederick city officials recently hired the consulting firm GHD to study options for upgrading the water tank on Butterfly Lane to meet requirements of both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
GHD senior project manager Leita Bennett presented three options for the tank to the Board of Aldermen at a workshop Wednesday. The options included rehabbing the current tank, constructing a new 750,000-gallon tank on the nearby Hargett Farm property, or building a new 1 million-gallon tank there.
The consultants recommended the new million-gallon composite tank, which has the highest initial price but offers the best value and lowest long-term unit cost. The aldermen confirmed Wednesday that the project cost of the million-gallon tank has been budgeted into the existing water-rate increase plans.
According to Bennett’s presentation, rehabbing the current tank, which is on Butterfly Lane across from Hargett Farm, would cost $2.64 million. The 750,000-gallon tank would cost $2.88 million and the million-gallon tank is priced at $3.67 million.
Bennett said one of the major downfalls of the rehab option is that it does not provide additional storage, which means officials would have to do another upgrade within the next 20 years. Both new tank options are set to provide more capacity and last for 40-plus years, with the larger tank the best option for future use, she said. A new tank would also require construction of a 12-inch pipeline connecting the water main to the tank.
According to the presentation, additional capacity with a new tank is advantageous because it lowers the individual unit cost. The million-gallon tank estimates the lowest unit cost at $2.68 per gallon. The 750,000-gallon tank has a $2.75 unit cost per gallon and the rehab option estimates a higher unit cost at $4.80 per gallon.
The rendering for the new tank shows a structure similar to the tank recently completed on the city’s north side. It is planned for the edge of the Hargett Farm property in an area tentatively slated for a farm complex and permanent open space within the proposed Westside Regional Park plan.
The aldermen who attended Wednesday’s workshop, who consisted of the entire board excluding Alderman Phil Dacey, agreed with GHD’s recommendation.
“The million-gallon new tank option makes sense with building long term, which is what we need to do,” said Alderman Josh Bokee.
Alderwoman Donna Kumzemchak said the tank will make a positive addition to the Westside Regional Park at the Hargett Farm site. However, she said she is not a huge fan of the aesthetics of the north side tank and inquired about possibly getting a better design for the new one.
“For me personally those aesthetics do matter, especially on this site,” she said. “I look at this site as a serious economic engine for this end of town.”
With the board members’ blessing, Bennett and her team will develop a request for proposal for the new million-gallon tank. Mayor Randy McClement said the project will then come back before the board after it has been bid for official approval.