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At the March 12 Montross Town Council meeting members passed several resolutions and adopted several documents to finalize the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Block Grant application requesting $530,000 from the VDHCD to help fund the Montross Downtown Improvement Project, which will cost $1,143,983.

Among the many documents adopted the town voted to adopt two new program designs; The 2012 Facade Improvement Program and the Revolving Loan Fund Program, that will assist business owners in making physical improvements leading to increased equity in their businesses and help the town achieve economic restructuring in the downtown area.

A revolving loan fund will be made available to either start up a new business or expand an existing business. If awarded, $140,000 from the block grant will be used as seed money for that part of the project. Once money is used for downtown since it

is a revolving loan fund the money can then be used for other businesses outside the project areas.

One requirement would be that a business receiving a small business loan would agree to create jobs for low to moderate income employees.

Businesses would also be able to participate in a 50/50 matching loan facade improvement to upgrade the look of their storefronts. $80,000 will be set aside from the grant for this program, which property owners will match. The town already has letters from three property owners for anticipated improvements during the time period of this grant, the total being a little over a half million dollars.

Water Tower Repairs
Town Manager, Brenda Reamy presented the council with the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for the water tank repairs for their review. Reamy would like to have the completed document ready to be advertised for next week and ultimately have the contract awarded in April.

Montross Town Council met last October with Herbert ‘Skeeter’ Wiley, Senior Construction Administrator and Roger O. Hart, Vice President of Arcadis U.S. Inc. to discuss repairs needed to the town’s water tank.

According to Wiley and Hart the Montross water tank uses a combination red lead paint and grease system to protect the interior of the tank from rust.

The upper portion’s red lead paint is wearing away and in need of removal, which would require special handling to contain it. “The roof of the tank has red lead, which is a problem because EPA and regulatory agencies won’t allow you to just sand blast it and let it go into the atmosphere. You must contain it with a vacuum system and dispose of it safely.” Wiley explained, adding that this makes the cost of removal considerable.

The red lead appears to be coated over with an epoxy system according to Wiley, but he recommends stripping the roof to bare metal and putting a new epoxy coating on to avoid rust damage to the tank.

The lower portion’s grease coat, which runs above the water line, is in good shape, however it will have to be removed during stripping of the upper portion. “It’s a good system but in hot weather the grease tends to slide down towards the bottom over time, thinning out the coat along the sides,” Wiley said.

Hart said that the estimated cost of stripping and recovering the whole interior with epoxy would run between $80,000 – $90,000, putting epoxy on the top and grease coat on the bottom would reduce that cost about 20–30%. Grease coating in the past has run the town over $8,000 every four years and put the water tower out of service for about 2 weeks, but replacing the entire interior with epoxy would not require maintenance for nearly 20 years.

So council members have decided to coat the entire interior with epoxy. Repairing of the tank will require 30–45 days and the town will provide an alternate system to supply water to the town.

Council explored two options for supplying water to the town during maintenance.

One option is to use a variable frequency drive on the water pumps motor to handle pumping water to the town while the tank is being repaired. This system would also use small bladder tanks to catch a small amount of water thereby reducing the sudden rush of water that comes when a pump turns on. A sudden surge of water at the pressure needed to supply water to the town could cause damage to pipes.

The second option is to keep pumps running continuously which would require ‘blowing off’ the excess water to keep too much pressure from building in the pipes.

Linda Farneth

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