(Oct. 5, 2018) Several tense minutes and many compromises later, a unanimous decision to rework the final plan for a paint job for the 64th Street water tower on led to the City Council’s award of the project to the second lowest bidder on Monday.

The new design will be more of a modification of the tower’s current appearance and could cost slightly less than the $220,500 bid from D&M Painting. A lower bid for this and other designs was rejected because of what officials said is shoddy work.

The Sunburst logo approach was one of four possibilities the council considered. The first and least expensive was a basic blue tank without a  logo. D&M bid that job at $187,900.

A third option, a beach ball design like the one on the tank downtown, generated a low bid from D&M Painting for $277,700. Finally, a golf ball design that included the Eagles Landing logo received a low bid from Horizon Brothers Painting Corporation at $345,900.

The biggest difference between the tank’s current appearance and the enhanced version the council approved is that it will eliminate the blue ring around the tank’s middle and use easier-to-read lettering.

Perhaps no one was more relieved with the elimination of the more elaborate proposals than Councilman Wayne Hartman, who vehemently argued against the golf ball design in an earlier meeting.

Hartman suggested there could be two contracts for the project, one for painting the tower the basic blue and another for applying the town logo, whether it was painted or a vinyl applique. He then moved to accept the base bid with a contingency to rebid using the vinyl process.

Public Works Director Hal Adkins advised against vinyl because quality concerns.

“It’s up to you all, but I would never recommend another vinyl applique for the water towers,” Adkins said. “It wasn’t always obvious from afar, but that quickly began to bubble and peel. You guys are the bosses, but I wouldn’t recommend that.”

Hartman’s motion died without a second, which led Councilman Tony DeLuca to suggest going with the improved version of the current design, but retaining the blue stripe with its welcome and thank-you message.

Councilman Dennis Dare, however, suggested removing the blue stripe around because it isn’t necessary and, in his opinion, obscures the welcome message.

“That blue stripe detracts from the message,” he said. “I’ve asked people what message is on this tower or that tower and they say they don’t know. What if we took that darker blue stripe with the white letters out and made it light blue with darker blue letters?”

Dare also recommended discussing the matter with D&M to provide results about pricing, design and the overall process.

Adkins, who has overseen dozens of water tower paint jobs during his tenure, said designs used to be much simpler.

“I remember the days when we just had the blue design with the sunburst and white marlin logo with no welcome or thank-you message,” he said. “What I’m hearing tonight is to come back with estimates for a design without the blue band.”

As a result, the council sent Adkins back to his design team to talk with the contractor and come back with design options with and without the dark blue band around the center.

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