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Water tower project approved

The Nymore water tower will get one logo.

The Bemidji City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to award a bid for $302,400 to LeadCon, Inc., for needed repairs and upgrades to the 250,000-gallon water tower, which is located off of First Street Southeast.

The interior and exterior coating systems need to be replaced and some structural work and repairs are required.

Councilor Jerry Downs was against painting two logos on the water tower because he did not wish to disturb the scene near Lake Bemidji.

"I consider that ... visual pollution," he said.

The council has been considering the project since 2003, according to Councilor Nancy Erickson.

LeadCon was the low bid from four received. Each were asked to include the cost for two city of Bemidji logos and deductible amounts in case the council decided to go with one or no logos on the water tower.

LeadCon offered a base bid of $303,400. The deductible for one logo is $1,000 and the deductible for no logos is $3,000.

City staff had recommended that the council paint two logos on the tower due to the low cost. But, Erickson pointed out that a $1,000 savings was still savings.

"I don't think I like the logo facing the lake," Downs said.

City Engineer Craig Gray said the company would be able to get started on work and the council later could decide how many logos to include on the water tower. While Councilor Ron Johnson said he would be willing to wait, Erickson said the council should be able to decide on the number of logos that night.

"I think it's a relatively simple decision," she said.

The council voted 5-0 to award the bid with one logo. Mayor Richard Lehmann and Councilor Barb Meuers did not attend the meeting.

The water tower project was included in the 2008 Capital Improvement Plan and funding will come from the water utility fund.

Gray said the Nymore water tower will be painted to match the other two water towers and will be an off-white or cream color.