By Kaitlin Mayhew -- email@example.com
STRASBURG -- After some deliberation, Town Council unanimously approved part of the design contract for the waste water treatment plant at its Tuesday night meeting.
The vote was 7-0. Councilman Rick Redmon was absent.
The approved memorandum focused on several recommendations from a recent engineering study that aim to save funds on the project.
One that includes raising the equalization and surge tank to a higher elevation was a subject of debate at the meeting.
"I don't feel really comfortable with this, not knowing what the [view] will be and where [the building] will be visible from," said Councilman Justin Ritenour.
The current design sets the top of the tank wall one foot above grade.
The plan for the new design, includes a structure that would stand over 20 feet high.
There was also some discussion among council members about whether the building would be visible from the walking path or from surrounding homes.
"The view, particularly from residences, is important," Councilman Don Le Vine said.
Le Vine expressed the desire to go through with the amendment, but also to be able to make changes later on based on the building's visibility.
"We are committing to something and we don't really know what we are committing to," he said.
According to Jay McKinley, chief operator of the waste water treatment plant, the higher elevation would reduce the amount of concrete required for construction.
The overall savings of approving the revisions is $1,389,299, which includes two other design changes in addition to the building elevation.
McKinley said that there is some tree cover to shield nearby residences from view, and that options can be explored in the future in terms of creating a buffer between the structure and the walking path.
Town documents report that the engineering firm, Malcom Pirnie, Inc. expects to have the project design complete within three months.