A rendering of the water tower the city of Kent will build next year on the West Hill near Military Road South and South 248th Street. The City Council awarded the $8.4 million contract for the project on Dec. 8. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

A rendering of the water tower the city of Kent will build next year on the West Hill near Military Road South and South 248th Street. The City Council awarded the $8.4 million contract for the project on Dec. 8. COURTESY GRAPHIC, City of Kent

Kent City Council approves $8.4 million contract for new water tower

To be built next year on West Hill

An Anacortes company received an $8.4 million contract from the city of Kent to build a 16-story water tower on the West Hill.

The City Council awarded the contract Dec. 8 to T Bailey Inc. The company submitted the lowest of two bids. California-based Paso Robles Tank Inc. submitted a bid of $9.9 million. The city’s engineer estimate was $8.3 million.

“To get just two bids was expected because it’s a very specialized project that only a couple of contractors are capable of constructing,” said Drew Holcomb, city Public Works design engineer, to the council.

The council unanimously approved in November 2019 the transfer of a 0.65 acre-city park to the Public Works Department from the Parks Department to build the water storage tank near South 248th Street and Military Road South. Public Works paid the Parks Department $520,000 (set by an appraiser) for the land, with those funds to be used for park expansions, improvements or acquisitions on the West Hill.

The council in September 2019 delayed a vote on the removal of the undeveloped Kronisch Park after several people testified they wanted city officials to find a different spot for the 165-foot tower in order to preserve the park and keep such a tall tower away from their business or home.

The 5-million gallon drinking water reservoir is needed to address a water storage and fire flow deficiency in the West Hill water service area, according to city documents. The reservoir will ensure that residents and businesses have adequate water supply during peak demand and provide necessary fire flow storage for fighting fires.

Also included in this project are necessary upgrades to existing West Hill pump stations and water infrastructure to support the new reservoir. A mural will be painted on the tower once it is built.

Construction is expected to take over a year. The project will be paid for from the city’s water utility fund, covered by ratepayer fees.

Once construction starts, the city will close 38th Avenue South to through traffic just north of the intersection with South 248th Street for the duration of the project. In addition to the road closure, the sidewalk on 38th Avenue South and the pedestrian pathway which cuts through the site connecting Military Road and 38th Avenue also will be closed.

The closure on 38th Avenue will still allow vehicles to turn right from 38th onto South 248th Street and to turn left from 248th Street onto 38th Avenue South. An official detour will be signed and posted online on the city’s website.

The water tank will take up most of the property and the city will plant new trees to help replace all of the large trees removed for the project.

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