TUPPER LAKE - Recent work by Verizon Wireless adding cellular antennae to the village water tanks has resulted in more damage than was expected.
When Verizon welded equipment to the top of the towers - one on Park Street and the other on Murray Street - village officials expected the welding to disturb about an 8- to 10-inch circle on the top of each tank. But the actual circles created by the welding are about 18 inches in diameter in some spots, said village Clerk Mary Casagrain.
Rather than just sealing the welded areas, the entire tank tops may need to be sandblasted, and the domes may need to be repainted.
Verizon Wireless cell-phone antennas are atop a water tower on Park Street, Tupper Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
Village water Superintendent Mark Robillard said he knows there's damage, but the extent of it needs to be assessed.
"We don't know how much or what," Robillard said. "And we think we have biofilm in the bottom of the tank anyway, from when we had the broken filter back in '09 and we had the E. coli hit. I've been working with the (state) Department of Health, and they've been after me to get a diver in there. And now with the welding, I figured, 'What a perfect time.'"
So Robillard has been working with a contractor to assess the damage. Conrady Consultant Services was hired by the village at the request of the DOH.
"They go in the tank," Robillard told the village board last week. "They dive the interior."
The assessment is set to cost $1,800 a tank for a total of $3,600. Casagrain said the subcontractor Verizon hired to do the work will likely have to pay the cost if the village can prove the welding disturbance was larger than the parties agreed to.
Verizon is paying $1,800 a month to rent space on the top of each water tower for the antennae.
The village's lease agreement and memorandum of understanding with Verizon is being reviewed by an attorney for the village.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.