City commissioners approved during their Monday meeting a bid made by Caldwell Tanks of Louisville, Ky., to construct a new water tower in Madison's Lakeview Industrial Park.

Caldwell Tanks submitted a bid of $2.655 million to build a 751,000-gallon composite water tower on the city's south side. The new water tower will replace the city's water tower located at N.W. 4th St. and Union Ave. and is part of a larger water- and sewer-main improvement project.

Caldwell Tanks also submitted a bid amounting to $2.815 million to construct a spheroid water tower at the industrial park site.

Another construction company, Phoenix Fabricators of Avon, Ind., submitted two bids, the first for a composite water tower ($2.92 million) and the second for a spheroid water tower ($2.89 million).

Composite elevated water-storage towers are constructed with welded carbon-steel tanks that are supported by large diameter, steel-reinforced concrete support towers which extend upward from concrete foundations. The water tank's support is a circular concrete support wall.

A spheroid water towers are a type of water tower that has a large sphere, which is the water tank, mounted at the top of large post. The sphere resembles a golf ball sitting on a tee or a round lollipop.

Five construction companies submitted seven bids to construct either composite or spheroid water towers for Madison. The sealed bids were opened by city officials on Aug. 11, and engineers with Banner Associates reviewed their specifications. The Banner engineers recommended that Madison officials should accept Caldwell Tanks' composite water tower bid.

Gerard Tank & Steel of Concordia, Kan., did submit a $2.23-million bid to build a 753,000-gallon spheroid water tower. However, the Banner engineers determined that Gerard Tank & Steel did not possess the experience requirement that were detailed in the bid specifications.

According to Banner engineers, the bid award was based on the proposed water tower's 50-year life cycle cost analysis. Caldwell Tank's life-cycle cost analysis for the composite water tower was calculated at $6.43 per gallon, which was the second-lowest amount among the bidding companies. Gerard Tank & Steel had the lowest analysis amount at $6.369 per gallon.

The water-tower bid process also included an alternate bid for decorative painting other than "Madison" in large block letters. City officials had asked for bids to paint Madison's city logo in two places on the water tank, instead of the block lettering. The city cannot spend USDA-Rural Development funding on the logo painting, and Madison needs to pay for the alternative painting with its own money.

Caldwell Tanks submitted a bid of $12,700 for the logo painting.

Commissioner Mike Waldner asked if city officials could consider adding logos for Dakota State University and Madison Central School District onto the alternative paint design. Waldner also asked about the added costs and funding for the additional logos. Chad Comes, city engineer, said officials could still consider additions to the paint design after approving the bid.