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Bay's Water Tower Receives a Facelift

After six months of work, the water tower at Craig Counsell Park has received a new coat of paint and 'Whitefish Bay' lettering.

If you didn't know that Whitefish Bay had its own water tower, you do now.

The 63-year-old water tower at Craig Counsell Park recently underwent an exterior paint job that included sandblasting, four coats of paint, welding repairs, and for the first time, the village's name on the side of the water tower.

The Village Board sprung for the "Whitefish Bay" lettering, which costs roughly $10,000, when it approved the $1.2 million contract in April.

Dixon Engineering finished the painting and the lettering last week. In the spring, Dixon will finish the rest of the contract, which includes sandblasting, welding repairs and painting the inside of the water tower.

Dixon started working on the project in May, but was held up for 3 1/2 months because wireless companies had to remove their equipment from the top of the tower, said Village Engineer Dan Naze.

The exterior of the water tower was last painted in 1989, and the interior was last coated in 1996. With the maintenance work, the 63-year-old water tower may have another 50 years left, Naze said.

The tank was shut down for the paint job, and in the meantime, the village's water pressure has come from the North Shore Filtration Plant located on the other side of I-43 at 400 W. Bender Road in Glendale. Naze said the village pays increased electrical bills to pump water from the filtration plant.

After pressure washing and disinfecting the interior, the tank has beeen filled with water and is expected to start operating again on Wednesday. 

Marvin Mason November 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Vinny, who cares what percentage of spend the $10k represents? It's ten THOUSAND dollars. That's a lot of money when you consider all the other expenses we still have in front of us, from massive road repairs to sidewalks to sewer upgrades to Cahill upgrades to much more. Responsible taxpayer spending works to keep the frivolous to a minimum because it all adds up. Our property tax bills are unreal and never going down, so how do we help keep them from going up more? Cut the silly spend that is being rationalized as less than 1%.
Bob McBride November 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM
That's a real good question, whether you think the $10K expenditure was reasonable or not. Maybe Jeff could ask someone involved to see if there's a logical explanation for it.
Jay Sykes November 22, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Good question on the rents from wireless providers, Vinny. Which cellular providers are located on the site now and what do they pay in rent? With the additional 'rigging' on the top of the tower(compare the old/new photos) will the village attract more rent/additional cellular providers? (I think there are 6 major provider-networks in the area [AT&T, Cricket, Sprint,T-Mobile,Verizon,US Cellular]) Will all the antenna that are on the property now be returning to the tower or will the masts installed to allow for tank repaint remain, as-is?
Vinny November 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Sure, but when you consider WFB has a population of about 14,000 and let's say a third of them pay taxes that $10 k turns into $2 per taxpayer. I'm sure the avg WFB taxpayer makes that during a single bathroom break at work. Not saying the Village should spend money to just spend money, but I don't believe that is frivolous of spending - and defiantly not worth calling for the board member's heads. Plus, I think it looks good. Perhaps you don't like WFB painted on the water tower, but when it comes to a project such as Silver Spring a few years back the Village chose to do some inhancements such as brick pavers, historic type lighting, and plantings to the standard road work. The State only covers these expences up to 3% of the project cost, so I'm sure the Village had to cover some of the cost. These inhancements gave it more of a community type feel and is something, I believe, residents want when they choose to live in this community.
Scott Krizek August 09, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Speaking if cell towers. Verizon's service has become terrible since the water tower was painted. The Verizon store said that WFB or Glendale are blocking putting the tower back up where it would work better. Anyone know more?

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