Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
A recent letter by Linda Silverman regarding the water tower highlighted that saving the water tower should be a fiscal decision first. The 79 votes in the Bulletin poll opposing saving the water tower would likely be different if the contributors were privy to fiscal numbers.
An understandable fiscal review is the missing element in the community discussion on this subject, so let us consider these facts first. A city paid structural analysis determined the water tower is seismically safe during an earthquake with no water in the tank; water is no longer maintained in the tank; the structure has been visually unobtrusive for decades; the city already maintains municipal antennas on the structure; and Metro PCS will pay the city $2,000 per month to install cellular antennas.
In 2006, the city determined removal of the water tower structure will cost $100,000, and retaining the empty water tower structure as is would require only periodic maintenance (painting.) Removal of the water tower will require a new $50,000 tower to support cellular antennas and relocated municipal antennas. Metro PCS would pay for the new antenna tower but will receive a credit from the city for $48,000, a net cost to the city. Additionally, relocation of the existing municipal antennas to a new tower will cost the city about $25,000 to $50,000.
Keeping the water tower with existing municipal antennas and adding cellular antennas costs the city virtually nothing, but generates $2,000 per month ($800,000 over 25-years) from Metro PCS. On the other hand, removing the water tower, building a new antenna tower and relocating antennas will cost the city about $200,000, thus generating a net $600,000 over the same 25-years. The fiscal numbers conclude that keeping the water tower will save a lot of municipal money.
Finally, public contributions have been offered to pay for painting the tank into a pumpkin, including my $100.
Resident and Businessman