By Dan Baeza
During a special call meeting Friday night, the Van Horn City Council, heard design recommendations and learned of possible timelines before voting to finance a new 250,000 gallon welded water tank.
The council initially began the process of replacing the 40-year-old storage tank after a series of water outages last summer. Inspections revealed structural degradation relating to the fluctuating water pressure from outages. Upon hearing recommendations from the Public Works & Utilities (PWU) and the engineering firm of Brock & Bustillos, the council voted to go with a welded tank design. It was noted that a welded tank would have a lifespan of 80 years versus a bolted tank with an expected 40-year lifespan.
Attempts to secure grant funds for the new tank became complicated with an extensive checklist and longer timeline. The council also learned that the quoted price tag, $493,000, increased due to rising interest rates and new steel tariffs.
Council members and PWU expressed the current water tank situation only compounds the difficulties that the beleaguered water system is already facing. Ultimately the council decided to proceed with financing the new tank with a $600,000 loan. The projected time frame of having a new water storage tank ready will be 7 to 8 months.