A long time emblem of Rio Grande City, the old water tank near the Fire Department was demolished last weekend. For some the nostalgia of seeing the tank be demolished raised questions of whether it could have simply be repainted. In an exclusive interview with the Mayor of Rio Grande City, Mr. Joel Villarreal El Tejano learned not just of the tank that was removed but of a ten year plan to provide much needed maintenance to all the tanks.
Currently there are five water tanks and a booster pump that aid in the distribution of water to residents. The ten year plan that begins this year and covers up to 2030 includes the rehabilitation of all the tanks. More importantly the contract includes additional work as needed without an additional fee and the demolition of the tank. Payment is financed by the company and will be invoiced monthly. From 2019 to 2028 the City of Rio Grande City will pay $9,182.42 per month. The remaining two years the monthly payment will be $10,835.25 and $11,268.67. Mayor Villarreal assured us that this contract does not mean an additional service fee or increase to water utilities. The average tax payer should not see a difference but it will allow for the City to comply with state requirements and standards.
He explained that while the commission understood the significance of historical preservation the estimate to rehabilitate the old tank would have cost the City of Rio Grande City approximately $3 million dollars. The structure was in such deteriorated state that when inspected it was found to be a hazard to drivers in the area. Although there is not a set plan for the area the commission is contemplating various possibilities including an LED sign. As a way to keep tradition alive the elected officials have discussed painting a similar design on one of the existing tanks, included the smaller tank still standing behind the structure that was demolished.