Culpeper Mayor Mike Olinger was all smiles Tuesday after the Town Council voted 9–0 to authorize Town Manager Chris Hively to sign $1.66 million contract with Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors to build an elevated water tank on the Orange Road.
“Hey, anytime you can get a $1.5 million water tank for $338,000 you’ve got to be happy,” Olinger said.
Hively and other members of the town staff negotiated with the developers of the Three Flags subdivision and Lifespires (formerly the Virginia Baptist Home) to put up $1.5 million toward the project.
Three Flags, which is building again following a hiatus during the Great Recession, was committed to spending $1 million to build its own tank to provide fire safety for the subdivision just off U. S. Route 29.
Instead, it gave the money to the town to build a municipal water tower that will offer the same protection.
Lifespires, which is rebuilding the Baptist Home, was about to spend $500,000 to build a pumping station to protect its residents when approached by Hively. It is giving that money to the town.
Although the construction contract will be for $1.66 million, there will be other associated costs. In addition to building the 400,000 gallon elevated tank across the highway from the present Baptist Home, Hively said that the town must also make improvements to at least one pump station, as well as its data control system.
That work, to be done in-house, will amount to about $62,000.
Adding in a 10 percent contingency, the town should get the much-needed tank for $338,000 of its own money—less if all the contingency funds are not needed.
Councilman Pranas Rimeikis was quick to point out that this money will not come from the town’s general fund, but rather from the water enterprise fund, which builds from customer profits.
The elevated tank, which is being built about half a mile out of town in the county, will provide fire protection for everything from Three Flags eastward to Lover’s Lane and the Baptist Home, including A. G. Richardson and Pearl Sample elementary schools.
“This is a great deal for everybody,” Olinger said.