The Idaho Falls City Council has unanimously voted to approve construction of the city’s new elevated water tower in the south parking lot of the Idaho Falls Public Library.
The vote was held last evening at the city’s regularly scheduled city council meeting. The city’s current water tower, located along the Snake River near Idaho Falls Power, is scheduled for replacement as part of the City’s Water Facility Plan.
The aging tower, which was originally built in 1937, is essential to the design and operation of the city’s potable water system, providing essential water pressure within the system for the multiple wells around the city that supply Idaho Falls residents with fresh water. The design of the city’s water system and the location of the well that fills it require the new tower to be built near the current tower site.
In 2020, three potential city-owned properties were identified as viable options for placing the new water tower. Public meetings to review the three site locations were then completed, followed by a public comment period. Based on those meetings and public feedback, it was recommended that the new water tower be relocated to S. Capital Park.
The library was not initially considered an option during the site selection process due to recent construction of the parking lot. However, in the fall of 2021, city staff met with the Library Board to discuss an additional possibility of relocating the water tower in the library south parking lot due to increasing costs associated with siting the new water tower at the S. Capital Park.
The Library Board subsequently considered the request from the city and in November voted unanimously to support placing the elevated tower at this location if it proved feasible.
Engineering feasibility work was subsequently completed and concluded that the library site would be suitable for the elevated water tower. City representatives then met with a number of stakeholders in the immediate vicinity of the proposed elevated water tower location and received positive feedback for siting the elevated tower at the library.
“Included in this project is a redesign of the library parking lot so that once the water tower is constructed there would be minimal impact to parking,” explains Idaho Falls Public Works Director Chris Fredericksen.
Fredericksen indicated that the city expects to go to bid to construct the project in mid-May 2021.
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Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.