Dan Wright

Dan Wright

The city of Ringgold was recently awarded a $600,000 grant to help with funding for a new water tank project that'll ensure the city's water needs in the future.

During the most recent City Council meeting on Oct. 23, the council unanimously approved accepting the grant, which is twice what the board applied for.

"A long while back we applied for an Appalachian Regional Commission Grant and we requested initially $300,000, but we've learned that there were some additional funds available...so they twisted our arm and asked us if we would accept $600,000," City Manager Dan Wright explained. "As this body knows, that additional water tank will cost an estimated $1.4 or $1.5 million. So last week, they had the award ceremony with the Regional Commission in Calhoun. Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford and I went down for the presentation. The good news is officially we have a $600,000 grant to help us build that water tank."

Wright says the new tank will be a way of storing more water for times when unforeseen circumstances arise.

"The main emphasis in building that water tank is going to be able to provide additional fire protection for our manufacturers," Wright said. "That was the whole purpose...it'll allow us to have more storage in the air in case we happen to lose power, or in case there is some type of issue where we have to take the water plant out of service until we get the well built."

As is sometimes required with grant funds, Wright recommended the council act swiftly to secure services from the consulting firm that helped garner the grant as a way of getting the project rolling as quickly as possible.

"We need to move fairly quickly in awarding a contract for professional services for the engineering and design," Wright explained. "Richard Akins of Rindt-McDuff Associates Inc. has been the one that helped us go through the whole grant process and prepared the preliminary engineering report. We'd like to ask them for a formal proposal to move forward."

After agreeing to move forward with the firm, Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford thanked the council for its work in securing the grant.

"I'm delighted to come out anytime with a grant," Crawford said. "That's money we don't have to take out of what we've already got. $600,000 is a very large grant. This council, I want to thank each of you. There's been a lot of hard work gone into this."

Earlier in the month, the council also entered an agreement with CTI Engineering to prepare the bid work for the repair of two existing water storage tanks.

That contract, for $11,500, was unanimously approved on Oct. 9, and includes CTI handling the bid document preparation, the bid assessments, and then the construction phase services.

"This is to make sure what we bid for is actually what we need," Wright explained. "We want to make sure that everybody bids apples to apples, and that whoever we award the contract to, that they actually produce what we're requesting."

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.