Having served the town for more than 90 years, Smiths Falls’ water tower has reached the end of its useful life town councillors were told at a Feb. 13 meeting.
Presenting a report prepared by Landmark Municipal Services, Director of Public Works and Utilities Troy Dunlop told council the water tower was built in 1924 (by CBI Horton), and has an estimated useful life of between 80 and 100 years.
Other council items this week:
- Smiths Falls to make grants more accessible to downtown businesses
- “Good news” budget expected for Smiths Falls
Landmark Municipal Services surveyed the interior of the water tank with an underwater camera on Oct. 14, and later presented a detailed report on the condition of the inside of the tank as well as the other water tower structures.
“The interior of the tank is rated fair to poor, so it’s getting to the state where it’s going to need some spot repairs,” said Dunlop. The paint on the tower’s lower legs is in poor condition, and the ladder systems are no longer code-compliant, he added.
A full renovation of the tank, which can store 945 cubic metres of water, will cost $1.6 million, which Dunlop said is a poor investment given that the tower is nearing the end of its lifespan.
The decision of how to replace the tower and where to locate its replacement will be made after an environmental assessment is carried out, said Dunlop.
“I’d rather put money into something new than to continue to put bandaids on something that’s going to have to come down,” said Mayor Shawn Pankow.
“Am I the only one who loves the water tower,” asked Councillor Lorraine Allen. “It’s iconic.”
“It will be a shame to see it go, if it has to go,” agreed Councillor Chris Cummings.