It took a day and a village to repair a water tank on Moreland Drive last week, Franklin public utilities director Kurt McFadden told the city's General Authority at the panel's monthly meeting Tuesday.

McFadden told authority members that the tank, which he described as a "witch hat style tank," sprung a leak the size of a pinkie July 2.

The utilities crew then sprung into action draining the tank, dechlorinating the water and diverting operations to the nearby Wendy Way tank, McFadden said. It took nine hours to drain the tank, McFadden said.

Crews also had to coordinate with Sandycreek Township to have the township shut down its systems in case the operation became overloaded and caused a bigger problem, according to McFadden.

Perhaps the most dramatic part of the day came when the Franklin Fire Department used its aerial truck to lift a welder to the tank, which sits atop a tower, for repairs.

"We couldn't have done it without the fire department," McFadden said.

A patch job was welded onto the tank, but McFadden and city engineer Al Wodzianski said more needs to be done before the tank is fixed.

"It's a Band-Aid patch. It's good, but we're going to need to do something more in the future," McFadden said.

The tank was built in 1947 and has been discussed for possible replacement by the authority for at least three years, authority chairman Tim Dunkle said.

During the process of fixing the tank, McFadden said several valves were broken on the ground and a utility line had to be removed, but he said work to repair everything is almost complete.

Moving forward, crews will finish all work caused by the leak. Wodzianski will also consult with Witherup Fabrication and Erection Inc. of Kennerdell to see if crews will need to go inside the tank to estimate the scope of the work.

If they do, city crews will run a test to see if the Wendy Way tank can take on the brunt of operations while the Moreland tank is down.

Wodzianski said any work that would be done on the tank would depend on how long the authority plans to keep it in service.

"It may go down tomorrow or it could last another 10 years. You really don't know," he said.

In other business Tuesday, the authority weighed options concerning railings at the city's sewer treatment facility that are causing workers some discomfort.

"The railings are made of fiberglass and as they've sat in the sun they've started splintering," Dunkle said. He added that crews are getting fiberglass splinters in their hands as they use the railings.

A solution had been found in a paint option that covers and bonds the fiberglass and boasts a lifespan of four to six years, but the authority questioned the plan after wastewater treatment plant supervisor Glenn Brown said the cost had increased from $4,700 to $6,300.

"So if the paint doesn't work it's a wash and we spent $6,300 for nothing," new authority member Chad Ellis, who was sworn in at the start of the meeting, asked.

Dunkle said other options exist for the project, but they all involve replacing the railings, and that would come at a high cost.

"Al, how much was it to replace the railings," Dunkle asked Wodzianski to remind him.

"A real big number," Wodzianski replied.

Discussion closed with the decision to move forward with the purchase of the paint.

"We figured if we do the paint, it could buy us some time" to decide on a replacement plan for the railings, Dunkle said.

Meanwhile, a project that calls for the replacement of a manhole on Liberty Street has been put on hold until spring.

Kyle Fritz, an engineer with the EADS Group engineering firm that works with the city on several projects, told the authority he didn't have faith the project could be finished by Applefest.

Fritz and the authority had been hopeful that M&B Services, which is installing traffic signal mast arms and new curb cuts at the pedestrian crosswalk where the manhole sits, would be interested in taking on the manhole project. M&B's deadline for the project's completion is Applefest.

After M&B declined to do the work, Fritz told the authority it would be better to wait for the spring.

"I don't want to get in there and have M&B pointing fingers (as to why the project didn't get done on time)," Fritz said.

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