May 22—Fairfield isn't ready to build a sixth water tower, but officials are planning for the possibility of the project that would signal the city's commercial and industrial sectors are seeing significant growth.
"We're working to procure properties so that in the future, if the demand in that area requires it, we have the ability to construct a tower," said Adam Sackenheim, Fairfield Public Utilities director.
City Council agreed to purchase 1.251 acres along Port Union Road for the possible water tower if the demand on the far-eastern edge of Fairfield's service district requires it. About a third of that acreage would be used for utility and access easements.
The $90,000 purchase is contingent on the completion of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, according to the city.
Demand for water in that area would be a sign of growth, Sackenheim said.
"There's an opportunity for growth, and there's also the opportunity for existing customers to continue to expand their operations," said Sackenheim. "It's just depending on how much water those commercial and industrial operations need. That could potentially drive us to install an additional tower in that zone."
Fairfield's five water towers combine to store 7 million gallons of water.
There are significant commercial and industrial businesses on the eastern side of Fairfield, said Fairfield Economic Development Manager Nathaniel Kaellin.
Fairfield's eastern areas can accommodate various types of businesses, like manufacturing, distribution and logistics companies. Development of Fairfield Commerce Park on Seward Road, and near the proposed water tower site, is underway, and Kaelin said "we see a lot of continued interest in that area."
The city's also received interest from businesses over the past 18 months in some of the greenfield sites in that area of the city, he said.
"We expect we'll continue to see development out there in the next 24 months," Kaelin said.
Sackenheim said there are no immediate plans to construct a new water tower, "but we thought it was wise to secure the property" because they need specific elevations.
"There's only so much property in that area that would work for a tower, and we identified this one," he said.