OGDEN -- Preparations for the construction of a controversial 5 million-gallon concrete water tank at the top of 36th Street will start next month.
The first step in the $2.8 million project will include clearing of brush and additional site preparation, City Engineer Justin Anderson said Tuesday.
Work on the tank will be completed in summer 2011.
The tank project, which will cost about $700,000 less than originally anticipated, will replace a pair of steel tanks, also on 36th Street, that are about 80 years old and can hold 2.2 million gallons of water.
The city council amended its capital improvement plan in February to allow installation of the new tank.
The amendment was needed because an initial plan called for the tank to be placed at the top of 46th Street.
However, an engineering study has since determined the 36th Street location will allow the tank to better serve the East Bench area, Anderson said.
The city would have to get permission from the U.S. Forest Service to place the tank at the 46th Street location, but already owns the land where the 36th Street tank will be built, Anderson said.
The capital improvement plan amendment allocated $100,000 for a siting study for a 1.2 million-gallon tank that could be built at a location yet to be determined on the East Bench.
In addition, the amendment also earmarked $300,000 for a study involving water-transmission lines and potential property easement purchases to connect the new 36th Street tank to an existing tank on 46th Street.
Work on those studies has begun, Anderson said.
Construction of the 36th Street tank and the two studies will be funded through water-improvement bonds issued in 2008.
Some residents are concerned that new tanks on 36th Street and on Weber State University property mean the city is considering developing open space in the foothills along the East Bench.
However, Anderson said he is unaware of any planned development along the foothill and believes the tank will be beneficial.
"It's essentially to serve for (water) consumptive purposes, fire protection and emergency storage."