Proposed Water Tank Would Be Largest In City

The Bridgeport News

by Jeff Toquinto, NEWS EDITOR

BRIDGEPORT (Thursday, August 22, 2002)

There’s no guarantee that United Hospital Center will eventually build a new facility in Bridgeport. Guarantees are even fewer for a permanent Department of Defense’s Biometrics Fusion to come to the city.

As for the $750 million Charles Pointe Development, nothing has yet to happen there.

Regardless, Bridgeport is making preparations for the possibility that all of those facilities will eventually be in the city limits.

In fact, Bridgeport is currently soliciting engineering proposals to install a one million gallon water tank, a new pump station and 9,000 linear feet of water and sewage lines for the northern part of Bridgeport.

"We’ll position the tank so that it serves Charles Pointe, the hospital and anything else that may come to that are," Bridgeport City Engineer Dan Ferrell said.

Even though Ferrell and city leaders know the general area where they would like the tank and the other infrastructure to go, there is no assurance the tank will actually be put in place. The estimated $1.5 million project is contingent upon Bridgeport securing an EDA grant of $1.3 million.

"We won’t be spending any money on this project unless we get the grant," said Ferrell.

Bridgeport City Manager Kim Haws has been optimistic about the grant.

In fact, he said recently the possibility of receiving it is "very good" and that an announcement could come at any time.

If and when that happens, Ferrell said the city would like to be ready. The city will be soliciting proposals for professional services from engineering firms through Saturday.

Even if they haven’t received notification of acceptance or rejection of the grant, Ferrell said Bridgeport would go ahead and select an engineer.

"We’ll select an engineer, but we wouldn’t enter into a contract," said Ferrell "Most engineering firms have dealt with situations where a client is waiting to hear about funding. They’re generally comfortable doing this."

A new water tank would give the city four within the corporate limits. The proposed tank would be the biggest in the city, said Ferrell.

"It’s large and if we move ahead with it, it will be designed in a way to consider all the needs of the hospital, Charles Pointe and anything else," said Ferrell. "We want this to be a one-time deal if it’s possible."

As of Tuesday morning, the city had received five proposals.