Cortland plans several large projects this year

By Shelby Schroeder

Construction of a new water tank is on the project list.

CORTLAND — A string of large-scale projects slated this year in the city is only slightly above the norm, but will likely cause design and construction phases to edge more slowly toward completion.

“We usually have two or three going on average,” said Donald Wittman, city service director, “and that doesn’t entail any of the other annual projects.”

The city will proceed with projects started in 2008, many of which will continue through 2010.

Closest to construction is a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank in Willow Park that will replace the three older tanks on site, which totaled 830,000 gallons. Although the new tank is of a smaller capacity, its height further above ground will give residents stronger water pressure, Wittman said.

Mayor Curt Moll said the plan is responsive to outward growth of residential space.

“Since the city has expanded east toward [state] Route 11, the elevation of the homes keeps increasing.” Moll said. “Starting at the lake and going up, the effectiveness of our current storage system has diminished [in water pressure].”

Wittman said the tank’s construction cost is around $2 million, which the city will pick up with a zero percent interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission and a revolving loan account with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Bidding on construction will begin in the coming months, he said.

A second project in the final stages of design is a well field near the intersection of Bradley Brownlee Road and state Route 5.

The site will be home to a new pump and pipelines designed by ms consultants inc. of Youngstown. The $300,000 for the project comes from the city’s water fund.

With higher water pressure comes the concern that older pipes may fracture or burst, so the city intends to replace the main line along North High Street.

Running near city hall, at 400 N. High St., to Main Street, a new 12-inch pipeline with pressure-reducing valves will prevent breakage at an estimated price of $482,800.

Moll said the valves will help “isolate the downtown and older parts of the city from the higher water pressure.”

At the same time, Fire Chief William Novakovich said the equalized pressure throughout the city will aid the department, which has encountered both low pressure and low volume when fighting fires.

“We have some areas in the newer parts of town and up around the golf course where we’ve experienced some pressure problems,” Novakovich said, adding that his department has complained to the city about weak water flow in the past.

The OPWC also will provide the city with a 20-year loan for the well field project.

A fourth rehabilitation project to replace sewage pumps at the Old Oak Drive and Southdale Boulevard lift stations also is on the agenda, but without concrete plans or estimates, Wittman said. Moll said the pump rehabilitations will expand service and prevent mechanical failure in the future.

Moll remains optimistic that the number of projects won’t cause serious delays in water service because gaps in the water tank’s construction are expected to provide time for other work.

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