It took five months to settle the claim, but finally the Columbus Water Works is getting millions in insurance money to cover the loss of a tank that collapsed April 25, sending torrents of water rushing from a hill at River Road and the J.R. Allen Parkway.
The Water Works Board of Commissioners voted this afternoon to accept $3 million from Trident Insurance to cover the water authority’s damage. The money does not settle about $350,000 claims from private owners whose property was damaged by water rushing from the 32-foot-tall, 6-million-gallon steel tank.
Water Works President Bob Tant said the insurance settlement will pay most of the cost of replacing the old tank. It was built in 1965 at a cost of $65,000, said Emory Blount, senior vice president for finance.
The water works now will erect two 4-million-gallon concrete tanks to replace the steel tank that collapsed, Tant said. The new tanks together are estimated to cost about $4 million, Tant said, adding that the authority in addition to the insurance settlement will add about $1 million in capital improvement funds to complete the project. The concrete tanks will be easier to clean and have other upgraded features, he said.
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The Water Works has yet to explain what caused the steel tank to fail. Tant said the authority withheld that information partly because it was threatened with lawsuits. The cause has been investigated and will be revealed during a press conference Sept. 22, he said.