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Tag Archive | "water tower"

Police seek water tower vandals


By Judy Reed


A white water tower. A bucket of paint. An abandoned ladder. The cover of darkness. And someone who loves The Post. It was the perfect storm for a hit and run graffiti event in Cedar Springs last night.

Police are looking this morning for the person(s) who painted the logo of The Cedar Springs Post newspaper on the city’s water tower on Pine Street.

“I didn’t hear a thing,” said one neighbor. “I saw a forklift there yesterday evening, but thought they were just going to do some maintenance.”

People gawked as they drove by, causing a couple of minor traffic crashes. That’s when police discovered the vandalism.

“It’s actually pretty good,” said one officer. “I’ve never seen graffiti that looked so professional. I think we are looking for an expert.”

The graffiti also gave the city council an idea. “I think we should rent out the tower once a month to any interested business that wants to put their logo on it,” said one councilor. “It might help offset some of our budget problems.”

The councilor didn’t specify how much they might charge, but said it would be in the $2,499 range. “And they would have to paint it themselves, or we wouldn’t make any money,” he noted.

The Post editor caught up with Post publisher Lois Allen at a local hardware store, while she was trying to return some paint. “It just isn’t the right red,” she said, wiping her hand on a paint smock she was wearing. But she thought it was great that someone painted the Post logo on the water tower.  “I hope they don’t get caught,” she added.

If you have any info on who might have painted the water tower, please 616-APRIL-FOOLS.

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Water tower back online

The maintenance on the Cedar Springs water tower is complete, and the tower and all fire hydrants are back online.
The tower went offline in August. During that time, the Cedar Springs DPW department encountered a few hiccups, including a boil water advisory when pressure dropped as a result of a power outage; a false anonymous tip to the DEQ that the blasting dust emanating from the top of the tower was toxic; a site visit by the DEQ that resulted in a citation for air quality despite the fact they followed the DEQ’s suggestions; and a complaint from a woman whose laundry turned brown.
The boil water advisory affected several businesses on the west side of town. All samples came back negative for bacteria.
The false tip to the DEQ Air Quality Division said that lead dust was being emitted from the tower. DPW supervisor Roger Belknap visited the work site August 26 and asked the crew to stop blasting activities until a bonnet could be put in place, which they did. The crew chief also explained that the blasting media they use encapsulates the coatings, pulling it downward, and the dust coming from the top was not hazardous. The DEQ arrived on scene on August 30 to investigate, and suggested the bonnet, which was already ordered, and on August 31 the DEQ Hazardous Waste division took samples, which all came back negative for lead and chrome. They also visited on September 7 and on September 19, issued a violation notice of air quality. The notice said they were blast cleaning without proper enclosure, requiring an air use permit to install, and that fallout adversely impacted neighboring properties. They noted that Utility Services Company, contracted by the city, had installed and commenced operation of equipment without a permit. The city was invited to send them a response if they felt this was inaccurate.
Belknap sent the DEQ a response outlining all the events that had taken place and the city’s response to the situation. The city then got a letter back from the DEQ saying the situation had been resolved.
“I think it was a matter of procedure, of protocol on their end (to issue the violation),” said Belknap. He noted that they had the proper permits for drinking water, but not air. “They are putting the contractors on notice that they need to abide by permits if doing work in Michigan,” he said. “Hopefully the process will help other water tower projects go through the same scrutiny as other projects when it comes to sandblasting.”
Opal Waller complained both the Post (see page 5) and the city about her water turning her laundry brown. Belknap explained that with the water tower offline and no hydrant flushings, a slug of iron may have built up and then been released. “All communities have problems with brown water from time to time,” he said.  He noted that the water in Cedar Springs is naturally hard and has a high iron content.

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Water tower logo completed

When you look at the Cedar Springs water tower, you’ll now see something new. From the city you can see the Red Flannel logo painted in red, and from the west you can see the name “Cedar Springs” in black.
It was part of a maintenance agreement with Utility Services, who contracted with the city for annual repairs and maintenance on the tower.

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Renovation to begin on water tower

By Judy Reed

It’s been a long time coming, but Cedar Springs residents will soon see work begin on the city’s water tower on Pine Street—maybe as early as August 1. The 300,000-gallon water storage tank, which was built in 1971, will undergo a complete renovation and repainting, inside and out.

According to the city’s Department of Public Works Director Roger Belknap, the whole project could take 6-8 weeks to complete, depending on weather conditions. Rain and wind greater than 15 mph will delay the work.

City water users should note that with the water tower offline, the only storage available to meet water demand is the water in the mains and service lines, until more is pumped from the city’s wells. The city is asking residents to keep water use to a minimum during this time, and to forego watering lawns and garden irrigation. The city will not have the capacity to use hydrants for firefighting during this time, but several nearby fire departments will have tankers available if needed.

Residents may also see hydrants releasing water from time to time to relieve pressure in the system. Hoses will be attached to the hydrants to prevent erosion and ponding of water.

While the tank has been repainted and/or maintenanced over the years, this is the first complete renovation. The company doing the work will come out each year and inspect the tank and complete any repairs needed. In 11 years, another complete renovation will be done. The whole project, paid over a 10-year period, will cost $440,848. That is a savings of $127,386 over the traditional method where work is done only three times in a 10-year period.

City residents recently saw their first increase in their water and sewer bills since 2007. Water went from $2.65 to $3.65 per thousand gallons and sewer went from $3.01 to $4.01 per thousand gallons. According to city officials, the average family of four uses about 2,000 gallons per person, per month, and will see an increase of about $16.00 per month. This increase will help fund future water and sewer improvements and maintenance.

When the tower is back up and running, those wishing to water their lawns or fill their pools may want to consider installing a special sprinkling meter from the city that costs about $260. You will also need to have a plumber install a backflow device, and it will need to be inspected every three years. While the sprinkling meter has an upfront cost, it will save residents money in the long run because they will only pay a flat water rate with no sewer cost.

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Tiger blood hits Cedar Springs

Residents in the peaceful city of Cedar Springs discovered they had been struck with the “Tiger blood” when they awoke early Wednesday morning to see their water tower had been vandalized sometime during Tuesday night.

“What the heck does it mean?” said one resident of Pine Street who admitted that they never watched television. However, for those of us who actually do watch crap on T.V., it was perfectly clear. Charlie Sheen mania has struck right here in the heart of red flannel country!

Authorities currently have no leads but believe it was the work of someone in an air balloon. “We believe the perp(s) (perpetrators) hired an air balloon and hid it in one of these old buildings until dark when they allegedly filled it with helium, becoming airborne and then allegedly painted the water tower,“ said a dude in a police uniform.

Police are asking anyone in the area to come forward if they remember seeing an airbus or air balloon anytime between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

“He [Sheen] is a train wreck waiting to happen and you just can’t look away,” said Len Allington, town know-it-all. Call your tips into (933) 665-3396 8 (WEF OOL EDYOU!)

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Water tower to finally get Red Flannels

Post photo by B. Fitzgerald.

By Judy Reed

The water tower in Cedar Springs is going to get a makeover.

The city recently approved the repainting of the water tower this spring when it is taken offline for repairs and maintenance. According to the contract that the city has with Utility Services for maintenance, it includes one free logo at no additional charge. At their meeting on February 10, the city council approved putting a red flannel logo on the tower—something an earlier city council nixed.

According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, when the new water tower was built in 1971, that city council voted not to use red flannels, which upset a few people in town. A letter appeared in the April 15, 1971 Clipper saying: “It’s a shame that Red Flannels, the symbol of Cedar Springs, which is known far and wide, will not grace the new 300,000 gallon water tower. We think the Council should have voted to use the red flannel design. We believe that everything possible should be done to preserve and enhance Cedar Springs’ special place in the long list of small Michigan cities. The use of the red flannel paint design on the water tower would have cost very little, if any more than the tear drop motif that the Council adopted. We urge the council to reconsider their decision…”

Thirty years later, city council did just that.

City manager Christine Burns said that it would probably be sometime in May before it’s repainted. The company will perform routine maintenance and repairs, painting inside and out, check for bullet holes, corrosion, etc. “It will be inspected yearly and repairs done on an ongoing basis,” explained Burns.

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