Replacing the Reservoir: Single Tank Saves You Bank

You may have read about the Frankfort Plant Board’s plans to replace the city’s existing reservoir tanks and resulting litigation involving FPB and the Frankfort City Commission. The disagreement hinges on FPB’s proposal to replace two 135-year old 4.6 million gallon tanks with one 7 million gallon tank. The City Commission prefers the more costly two 4.6 MG tank replacement option.

The City Commission and the FPB Board of Directors have met to explore solutions that would be agreeable to all and would address the aesthetic concerns of the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association (TNAi) while maintaining the Board’s fiduciary responsibility to ratepayers and meeting health and public safety obligations to all citizens.

The current reservoir tanks are significantly beyond their service life and at increasing risk of failure. The frequency of repairs has increased significantly over the last five years and is costly. The time to replace the reservoir is now.

The single tank at Tanglewood proposed by FPB is the most responsible option to all ratepayers, provides sufficient water capacity to meet the community’s needs for the next 40 years, and sets the foundation for the provision of water for generations to come.

Building two tanks now at the capacities that currently exist, as proposed by the City Commission, would require additional future storage elsewhere – not only costing more now but also costing significantly more later when needed. Suitable locations are limited. Options considered included Juniper Hills, behind Franklin Square and off Sower Blvd. All would cost significantly more (as much as $10 million at one of them) than building at the current reservoir site.

Water rates are determined by Water Department expenses. Funds for a new tank will come from rates paid by water customers, not subsidized by other FPB departments. One 7 MG tank costs $3 million less than two 4.6 MG tanks. Three million dollars could be better spent in the long run on much needed infrastructure for one of the oldest water distribution systems in the country.

Also, FPB’s proposed plan will not only improve the aesthetic view of the reservoir but will also restore a vital amenity and family venue to the community. Since the single tank proposal will only require a fraction of the footprint currently occupied, FPB envisions additional greenspace and landscaping which will enhance the welcoming sight to visitors entering Frankfort on Louisville Road, and improved amenities for the public to enjoy. This includes re-opening the clubhouse for community events.

At the request of the Tanglewood Neighborhood Association and the City Commission, improvements are already underway. FPB replaced the chain link fence with iron and brick decorative fencing and planted some new landscaping.

The Frankfort Plant Board is committed to bringing the Frankfort community the lowest utility rates possible while also ensuring that no extraordinary financial burden is placed on current and future citizens for unnecessary infrastructure.

FPB’s single tank plan considers costs and provides space for future capacity when the community needs it. It is the more responsible and strategic option to keep water rates at a minimum for customers both now and in the future.

We encourage all water customers who are concerned about how this project will affect their rates to visit the FPB website at