Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 23, 2013

Historic water tower getting makeover

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — One Pauls Valley historic landmark downtown is nearly done with a much needed touch up job.

Towering at about 75 feet is the old water tower, above any nearby building and there is a lot of nostalgic value for those like City Manager James Frizell.

He noted how he was glad to finally see a long planned project come along in the form of cleaning it up and giving it a fresh coat of paint.

“There are downtown pictures of Pauls Valley from the early 1900s,” said Frizell, mentioning one photo he saw when the old city hall was established then where the tower could prominently be seen.

“That was the first water storage tank in the city of Pauls Valley.”

The work has been going on for nearly three weeks now and started around the beginning of December, said Frizell. It has included being sandblasted, a layer of dark gray primer and during the last few days, finishing up with a light gray paint.

At a cost of about $38,000, it is all being paid for through money generated by the city’s contract with three cell phone providers, who use the water tower as a place to generate signals, said Frizell.

Once the initial paint job has dried, the city’s logo will then be painted on top of that.

Frizell pointed out that this is likely all that will be done with the tower since it would be more work than it would be worth to get it ready to hold water again. He also believes it would not be able to pass inspection and at 50,000 gallons, it would not be enough to significantly add to reserves.

“It has not been used since the mid-1980s,” said Frizell.

However, Frizell added how there is still plans to add a much larger tower, like the 500,000 gallon version, near Curwood. Something like this would not have much impact during a normal constant flow from the two lakes used for the water supply, but during emergencies similar to a 24-hour outage that took place earlier this year.

“When we were looking for funding for the water plant, we wanted to do another tank, but the cost was too much too add it,” said Frizell. “But we’ve got to work on getting one.”

That outage, due to a improper line connection during a relocation project, depleted a majority of the reserves and proved that the city needed more to compliment the two water storage towers as well as the clear well near the water plant. This will ensure they have enough water for a longer period of time.

“You take water for granted until you don’t have it,” said Frizell. “We didn’t have adequate reserves.”