Originally created 02/14/98

City's water towers undergoing face lift



While Augusta residents are sprucing up their homes for visitors during the Masters Tournament, the city is spending a hefty amount of cash brushing up its drab water towers.

It is costing almost $1 million to renovate four of the city's six water towers.

The project, which began in January, includes painting the outside and adding liners inside the tanks to keep the water from touching the steel, said Jeff Shelton, vice president of Utility Service Co., which is handling the project.

It costs $229,117 to renovate each tower, said Augusta utilities Director Max Hicks. This year, they will get more than a fresh coat of paint.

The city's new logo, adopted recently to represent the consolidation of Augusta and Richmond County governments, will be painted on four of the six tanks this year, he said.

The new paint job will have a slight blue tint, with the oval-shaped logo that includes a sketch of the old government building and the words "Augusta, Georgia" around it.

"Everybody that comes up and down Washington Road to the Masters will see Augusta, Georgia," Mr. Hicks said, referring to the tank at Berckmans and Washington roads outside Augusta National Golf Club.

"As we travel around to other cities, we see most communities identify themselves on their water tanks. It's just a way of showing off our community," he said.

The logo will be drawn freehand by an artist who is a painter with Utility Service Co., Mr. Shelton said.

Work is under way on two towers -- on Berckmans and Bel Air roads. Towers on Highland Avenue and Walton Way were painted two years ago, before consolidation. There are no plans to add logos to them yet, Mr. Hicks said.

The tower on U.S. Highway 1 also has been painted and the logo will be added within a month. The Tobacco Road tower will be painted this fall.

Work on the Berckmans Road tank began in January but has slowed due to rain. It is expected to be ready by April 1, in time for the Masters Tournament.