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Van Diest will build new water tower on west side

July 2, 2024

The City Council of Webster City unanimously approved construction of a new 250,000-gallon water tower near Van Diest Supply Co.’s factory complex west of Webster City at its regular meeting Monday.

The company will pay for planning, design and construction of the new tower, with the City of Webster City assuming normal maintenance and operating costs, estimated at from $5,000 to $15,000 a year.

In August, 1999, the City Council agreed to build an extension to the city’s water main and a new booster (ie. pump) station at 1447 220th Street (also known as Old U.S. Highway 20) to provide additional water to the plant. Although Van Diest Supply is located outside city limits, it’s within the city’s two-mile jurisdiction. The Iowa Code allows cities to review and approve land development and use within two miles of city limits.

In October, 2023, the council learned Van Diest’s insurance company notified it that additional water capacity was required at the plant to put out a fire should one ever occur. Originally, it was planned for Van Diest Supply to build, own and operate the new water tower, but the action passed by the City Council Monday will, instead, see the company stand the cost of construction, with the City of Webster City assuming ownership, operation and maintenance of it as part of the municipal water supply system.

The construction agreement between the city and Van Diest requires 180,000 gallons be kept in the tower at all times for exclusive use by Van Diest, leaving up to a 70,000 gallon surplus.

Interim City Manager John Harrenstein said “the new tower will hold 250,000 gallons with 180,000 of that reserved for Van Diest. The balance will be available for other uses.”

Clearly pleased with development of the new water tower, Harrenstein said, “This is an example of a beneficial public-private partnership. Van Diest is showing good faith in financing the entire cost of the new water tower, and turning it over to the city to operate. Improvements to municipal utilities benefit everyone. In this instance, we’re able to improve water service to our fifth or sixth largest water user. I see this project as a framework for our thinking on projects like this in the future.”

In addition to the tower itself, which will be bulb-shaped, the project includes the necessary pumps, mixer, emergency, back-up electrical power capabilities, lighting and AMR water metering compatible with the city’s new system, on-site piping and connections, and electrical supply and controls.

Under terms of the construction agreement, the new water tower must be completed by May, 2025.


View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.

Last modified: July 2, 2024

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