A project years in the making is finally getting a start.

The ground water storage tank project has finally gotten some funding for engineering services. Paid for by the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant, the project has been needed for a long time, says Mayor Tommy Davis.

“We’ve already done some engineering work on (the project),” he said. “We know what it would take to get it; it’s just a matter of funding now.”

The city council adopted a resolution for the citizen participation plan for the LCDBG program, which will allow Davis to begin applying for grants this grant cycle towards the water storage tank project.

The storage tank would not be situated on stilts or legs, like the overhead water storage tanks on Broadway and at the Germantown Fire Department. It would be a tank that sits on the ground. Davis says water weighs about eight pounds per gallon, and with two million gallons of water in the storage tank, that’s a lot of weight.

The new tank, which will have the capacity to hold two million gallons, will be behind the water treatment plant.

With two water tanks that hold a combined 750,000 gallons of water at any given time, why the extra storage space?

“When Tommy’s Tire caught on fire on East Union Street, the water department had as many pumps on the wells going, but our water storage was steadily coming down,” he said. “It would give us a lot of capacity.”

If a fire happened during an outage, water would be depleted quickly, he says. In discussing the fire at Tommy’s Tire, he says, had it lasted much longer, the city would have been out of water.

In the height of the summer, water customers will use approximately four million gallons of water per day, Davis says.

Even though there is an underground water storage tank at the treatment plant, it’s still not enough storage, and the water has to be treated.

This is a long-term project, something that’s been “on our radar” for a while, Davis says. It goes back to the days of the late Mayor Bill Robertson.

“Bill Robertson talked about this years ago,” Davis said. “He talked about the need for this, and every year we’ve tried to get a little funding. We got enough funding to get the engineering done, but we’ve got wait until we get some more funding.”

The entire cost of the project will cost about $2 million to $3 million. The cost of the engineering services is about $200,000, says Public Works Director George Rolfe, and the city has been approved for its use.