St. Charles aldermen decided to move forward with the construction of a round, 1.5 million-gallon water tower at the corner of Red Gate Road and Route 25.
Construction of the new Red Gate Water Tower will cost the city about $3.6 million — double the estimated cost to build a tower that holds 1 million gallons, as previously planned, officials said at a committee meeting Monday night.
Work is scheduled to begin in the next fiscal year, city officials said.
The average taxpayer will pay about $6 more annually for the 1.5 million gallon tank than they would have paid for the 1 million gallon tank, according to city documents.
At Monday night's government services committee meeting, city staff members and a representative from Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises—recently hired for design and construction engineering of the tower—presented evaluations of three tower designs, tank volume based on water usage data from the past five years and construction costs.
The group then recommended the committee approve the round-shaped tower at a volume of 1.5 million gallons to better meet the needs of the city.
The committee voted unanimously in favor of the proposal.
Previous studies done in 2007 resulted in a proposal for a million-gallon tank, which would cost about $1.8 million. Due to an increase in water use, a volume greater than 1 million gallons would be better for the city, said John Lamb, environmental services manager for the city.
"More current data showed that we should have a larger tank due to growth," Lamb said in an interview.
Between 2000 and 2010, the city's population increased by about 18 percent, according to census data.
Lamb said the new tower will provide more storage and allow the city to do maintenance on its two other towers, which hold about 1 million gallons and 300,000 gallons of water, without disrupting service. He added that most cities of similar size have at least three towers.
The larger tank will also help alleviate issues with low water pressure in some areas of the city — a concern raised by some aldermen.
"At this point, I think it's well worth the extra [money] … to go with a lot higher capacity," said Ald. Jim Martin.
Once a project bid is selected in the spring, the costs could be reduced. The City Council will have to budget the project in the next fiscal year.
The city is applying for an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency low-interest loan to finance the project.