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Although the completion date for a new elevated water storage tank on the outskirts of Cotulla remains in line with next year’s La Salle County Fair and Wild Hog Cook-Off, delivery of the tower’s base components has been delayed by a supply shortage.
Addressing city councilors at their September meeting, municipal utilities engineer David Wright said expectations had been that the first parts of the custom-fabricated water tower would arrive this month.
That delivery has now been moved to October, he said.
“There have been problems with the availability of supplies,” Wright said, “and with obtaining metals for the construction.”
The city government expects the new water tower to help relieve pressure issues in its delivery lines to residential areas on the east side of town and also accommodate new development in the area of the Cotulla-La Salle County Airport, where real estate has been made accessible via the truck bypass loop that opened last year. Residential and commercial sites in the new expansion zone will be served by the tower.
The new water tower will stand at the corner of the city’s utility yard beside Hwy 97, directly across the road from the high school campus. Realizing that the city does not presently have a visible school mascot logo on any of its large structures, city officials worked with Cotulla ISD on the design of a Cotulla Cowboy design to be painted on the structure.
According to City Administrator Larry Dovalina, the ‘Cotulla Cowboys and Cowgirls’ logo on the vertical surface of the water tower is designed to be visible from the school and adjoining Myers Memorial Stadium as well as to travelers arriving in town on the state highway.
Dovalina indicated at a previous council meeting that the city has been pleased to work with the school district in helping promote pride in the school’s teams.
Two additional expenditures related to the new water tower were approved by councilors at the September meeting, including $6,000 for a reformatted logo that will fit onto the upright tank wall.
“We have an eight-foot tall flat surface to accommodate the logo,” Dovalina said, “and we are adjusting the size of the design to fit the tank.”
Councilors learned that only $4,000 had been budgeted for the artwork but unanimously approved the new payout without further discussion. The motion to continue working with Cotulla ISD on producing the large logo on the tower was made by Councilor Eloy Zertuche, seconded by Councilor Manuel Rodriguez.
The city has also entered an agreement with independent inspector Boswell & Reyes for an inspection of all the materials being used in construction of the water tower. For a $24,000 fee, the company will examine all metals, joints and welding during the tower’s construction to ensure the city receives the product it expects, Wright said.
“This is a very big and expensive project,” the engineer said, “and we are going to have it for a very long time. We need to ensure the quality of this structure.”
A fifth payment in the amount of $34,320 to Maguire Iron was approved by the council on Sept. 9 in the city’s purchasing schedule for tower construction.
The total cost of the tower has been pegged at $1,410,760, including site preparation, design, fabrication, erection, fixtures and fittings, an access driveway and sidewalk, and painting, prior to any change orders approved by the council.
Fabricator Maguire Iron is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; engineers Tetra Tech Inc. are in San Antonio.