Thursday, April 30, 2009

Southeast Bench Water System Improvements Preliminary Design Report

A straightforward proposal to save Emerald City water customers $1.6 million

By Dan Schroeder

Here's an electronic copy of the year-old engineering study on the southeast bench water tanks:
This report was presented to the City Council at its work session two weeks ago. I attended that work session and got a hard copy of the report, but soon realized that it needs to be distributed more widely. I'm grateful to Mr. Frisbee for going to some effort to obtain an electronic copy for this purpose.

The most important page from my viewpoint is page 11 (13 in the pdf numbering), which shows that the two existing tanks that serve zones 1-3 have more than enough capacity for existing customers, including emergency storage and fire flow. Therefore the proposed 1.25 million gallon tank is entirely for the purpose of facilitating future development.

In my mind the City Council should amend the Capital Improvement Plan to remove authorization and funding for the 1.25 million gallon tank. This would save water customers $1.6 million. If future development, either by WSU or elsewhere, makes such a tank necessary, let the developer pay for it.

The proposed site for the 1.25 million gallon tank may be obsolete, based on what we heard at the work session. Instead they're now talking about putting it farther south, on WSU land, to be accessed from the top of Beus Drive. However, nothing is final so the location could easily change again.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?


dan s. said...

I should clarify that the city council work session was held on April 7, so it's now more than "two weeks ago". Also, "Mr. Frisbee" refers to Craig Frisbee of the Ogden City Water Department.

More importantly: If the city wants to save even more money, it should be possible to add a third smaller tank to the two above 36th Street, rather than demolishing these and replacing them with a much larger tank. That would probably save at least another $2 million.

According to the study, the only reason to demolish the existing tanks is that "the City has plans to make some changes to the golf course and other property near the site of the 36th Street tanks. Replacing the 36th Street tanks with a buried concrete reservoir would allow for more flexibility in developing this land."

Bill C. said...

It's interesting that figure 2, developable land show all of Mt. Ogden Park and Golf Course as considered for future development.
If it's clearly the intention of the Residents that this remain open space, isn't this study skewed, as all lying little matty studies seem to be?

dan s. said...

That's right, Bill. Moreover, the date of this study proves that the recommendation of the golf course committee (namely, to develop the land around the water tanks) was predetermined before that committee even existed.

Bill C. said...

So, I guess we golfers that called the skipper and his committee liars have been validated, we were right all along.

oldtimer said...

Good sleuthing.
I hope the City Council gets the picture when this is presented.

Reads like Godfrey plans for Ogden citizens to pony up for the additional water tanks or tank for the developer - who of course, will be a Godfrey "pickee".

ozboy said...

Damn Dan, I wish you were mayor! Course the way things are with the administration in Ogden these days you probably wouldn't qualify considering your parents were married.

How's about you running for one of the upcoming council seats? The city is in desperate need of intelligent people with integrity.

If you run, I will donate five hundred bucks to your campaign in the name of Bobby Geiger! Now wouldn't that be fun seeing his name on your campaign donor list!

OgdenLover said...

Remember, Ozboy, it is illegal to make a political contribution in the name of another. Even Bobby Geiger's.

what would jesus say said...

Dan, I'll be in for 500.00 in the name of back stabber John Gullo. I believe it would be fitting.

And there would be contract expressed or implied, after all it is a campaign contribution.

Spike said...


I don't think Oz has anything to worry about. All he would have to do is have the city attorney Williams declare he had "cured" the crime himself. Hey, it worked for Godfrey, Johnson and Eccles, why not for da Oz?

Ogden Resident said...

Dan S.

I appreciate both your efforts and those of Craig Frisbee to post the report; it was very helpful in my evaluation to determine the true excess that is being put on the taxpayers of Ogden to fund the administration’s “vision”.

By my calculations from the costs provided in the report and the knowledge that I have on building tanks, I find your cost savings to be extremely conservative. I’ve built and priced out several tanks of this size and larger in my career (and I was bidding on tanks as recently as two years ago when costs were higher than they are today). If the city chose to just erect an additional tank at the existing location at the top of 36th Street, the city’s actual cost would only be about 2 million dollars not the 2 million dollars saving that you indicate. The 2 million dollar saving you come up with would have to assume that the city needs to build the 1.25 million gallon tank as well. Thus if that tank weren’t built and the city added a new tank at the existing 36th Street location (if one is actually needed), a savings to the city would be closer to 7 million dollars verses what the administration is proposing.

There is adequate room at the current location for an additional tank, if one is needed, but I too question whether that is actually the case. By the way the new tank is not going to sit any higher on the mountain than the existing tank so there won’t be any pressure gains. From what I read the added capacity was only needed if the 1.25 million gallon tank was built above the current tanks and as you point out that tank was for future development not for any current demands. If at a later date the city determines it needs an additional tank higher up the hill side (the1.25 million gallon tank) then the existing tanks plus a new one at 36th Street could supply the needs of the higher tank at that time.

What I question too is the city’s desire to replace the existing steel tanks, which generally hold up better in earth quakes, with a single concrete tank in an area known to have geological faults. The existing tanks sit in a fault area but so would the proposed new tank or close enough to one that it wouldn’t be considered any better placement.

The driving force here seems to be to have access to the desired footprint that the existing tanks occupy. The administration clearly wants this location for development. My question is, is it right to tax the residents for what I consider to be an additional 7 million dollars to support the administration’s “vision”?

Would we not be better to save the additional dollars or spend some of them on our existing golf course to make it more playable where it currently is situated?

Lionel said...

Ogden Resident

The seven million you talk about the administration squandering for their "vision" is but a drop in the bucket compared to the hundred million these incompetents have already squandered with such nonsense as the Solomon Center, Union Condos and a whole host of other stupid business deals. The only thing any of them have in common is that the tax payers in Ogden lose big money on all of them and all of them are losers.

They don't call em "the gang that can't shoot straight" for nothing.

Ogden Resident said...


We the residents will be funding alot more of this "vision" before the administrations is done with us if the City Council does not put a stop to this nonsense.

Remember the whole price tag of this supposed "cure" of the golf course is slated to cost 146 million dollars. All this to fix an inflated 2 hundred thousand dollar a year annnual budget deficit.

Ogden Resident said...

Dan S.

Let me clarify one point above. If the 1.25 million gallon tank (which I feel is not currently needed) is not built then there is no justification to add additional storage capacity, i.e. tanks, at the 36th Street location and no need to replace or relocate the existing tanks that are currently there.

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