Almost $70,000 worth of additional, unanticipated repairs have been done to the Riverside water tower restoration project since it began, according to Public Works Director Mike Hullihan.
The costs have taken up 85 percent of the $80,000 contingency that was set aside for such repairs when the $1.2 million contract was agreed to, Hullihan said. It wasn’t realized that the repairs were needed until after workers had stripped away the layer of paint covering the brick tower. At that time, architects completed a full survey of the site, identifying additional work that had to be done.
These new projects included $58,000 in repairs to various mortar joints and arches on the tower. The removal of soot stains on the lower portion of the water tower also cost an additional $10,000.
Hullihan said that there is a list of more proposed additions to the project, but given the small amount of contingency money left, they would have to be carefully evaluated. None of the proposals are emergency repairs, he said; rather, they are related to bringing the site back to its historic appearance. Evaluating their importance, Hullihan said, would depend on how complete the village wanted the project to be.
“In the case of historic restorations, defining where the end state is, is really a question of how far back do you want to go?” he said. “We could very easily put in another $200,000 on this project.”
Despite the unanticipated repairs, Hullihan said, work on the tower’s restoration is still on schedule. Most recently, he said, workers have been collaborating with the village’s Preservation Commission on finding an appropriate mineral coating for the tower bricks, testing different products for their color and strength. Hullihan estimated that the entire project would be finished by September.