Village Board wants attorney to review agreement calling for charges to move wireless provider antennas
The Fredonia Village Board chose the cautious approach last week when considering a contract that turns over responsibility for maintaining the municipal water tower to Dixon Engineering, a Michigan firm that specializes in the work.
Trustees previously agreed to hire the firm to care for the village’s 30,000-gallon tower — including repainting it and relocating the array of cellular antennas — for a total cost of $303,000 over five years.
According to Dixon, just painting the tower is expected to cost $170,000.
When officials received the final contract for the work, they learned the relocation of the antenna array is expected to cost $44,000.
The Dixon contract says the village is expected to contact the three wireless carriers that have equipment on the tower and notify them they would be responsible for that expense.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm urged trustees not to charge into approving the contract without considering the implications.
“I would expect to be able to pass this on to the wireless companies, but maybe we should get our attorney to review the contract,” Strohm said.
The board accepted that recommendation, tentatively approving the contract pending any input from the village attorney.
“I would feel more comfortable if the attorney looks over the contract and tells us what he sees is the same thing we are expecting from reading it,” Trustee Don Dohrwardt said.
In addition to painting the inside and outside of the tower, the contract also calls for the installation of a mixing system — at a cost of $20,000 — to prevent water from freezing in the tank during harsh winters.
There is also a provision for the rental of a temporary water tank for up to 45 days. That will cover the time when the tower is taken out of the water system for painting.
“The temporary tank is really just a tool, like a wrench, although it is a really big wrench,” Dohrwardt said.
The tank rental is expected to cost $20,000, although that expense is included in the contract.
An add-on in the contract gives the village the option to reconsider an earlier decision not to paint the village’s name on the exterior of the tower after it is repainted.
That identification on the tower would cost between $6,500 and $7,500.
Village officials said they hope savings realized from a reduction in interest charges could cover the cost of painting the village’s name on the tower.
As an enterprise account, the water utility is responsible for the cost of water tower maintenance, but those costs are passed along to residents in their water bills.