City delays decision on Gore Hill water tower artwork

City Commissioners voted to postpone to Oct. 15 consideration of the mural and logo proposals for the Gore Hill water tower.

Staff recommended the postponement to allow commissioners and the public more time to review the design proposals and costs.

The city released the request for proposals in August and received responses in September from two entities with three design options from each.

City seeking proposals for Gore Hill water tower mural, design

The proposals range from $55,000 to $144,000.

Funding for the artwork has not yet been identified, but commissioners discussed the possibility of the public donating toward the cost or sponsorships. Brad Livingston attended the meeting and said he would make a donation toward the project.

Cameron Moberg, who was in Great Falls in August for the mural festival, submitted art options.

His three submitted designs are below.

Viking Industrial Painting also submitted design options, which are below.

The costs per design option are listed in this chart.

mural logo costs

Per the recommendation of the manufacturer that provided the materials associated with the current coating system, the contract documents require waiting until at least spring 2020 to paint the mural or logo.

The two-year warranty currently in place for the construction of the water tower and coating system on the storage tank doesn’t end until Dec. 17, 2020. The sealant for the concrete pedestal was applied over the summer and has a two-year warranty.

Staff pointed out that if a warranty issues arises after a mural is painted within the warranty periods, staff may not be able to identify which entity would be responsible for correcting the issue.

Earlier this year, the City Commission opted to put the logo painting decision on hold to explore other options.

Water tower lettering decision on hold

When the city first approved the contract in 2017 for the tower’s construction, the lettering was an added option that City Commissioners decided to put off until construction was complete.

Lettering options considered for new Gore Hill water tower

The construction contractor notified the city earlier this year that their painting crew would be in town this spring to paint the pedestal a light tan color, so staff was asking the commission to choose a lettering option so that painting could be done at the same time.

The full request for proposals is available here.

Three designs were proposed, one of which was the lettering used by Visit Great Falls Montana Tourism, the Great Falls Development Authority, the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, and as of Tuesday, the Downtown Great Falls Association/Business Improvement District.

Those designs ranged in price from $27,500 to $37,700.

On Aug. 20, City Manager Greg Doyon told City Commissioners that the tower’s paint needs to cure until spring 2020 before any new mural or design can be painted on the water tank portion.

The Gore Hill Water Tower consists of a composite style elevated water storage facility completed in 2018. The bowl is comprised of welded steel with a TNEMEC Series 700 exterior coating system applied in 2018. The same coating system with proper surface preparation is required for the coating used to paint the mural/logo on the bowl.

The pedestal is comprised of cast-in-place concrete with a color infused concrete sealant by Sherwin Williams. Proper surface preparation of the pedestal is required to ensure proper adhesion of the specified TNEMEC Series 156 Enviro-Crete coating product before any mural/logo can be painted on the pedestal, according to the bid documents.

Under the RFP, a formal decision needs to be made within 60 days of the bid opening, whether it be denying the artwork and leaving the water tower as is, or rebid the project.