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Riviera Fountain in need of costly repairs



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May 05, 2010 | 08:49 AM
This time of year, the Riviera Fountain should be flowing with clear water for all to see and enjoy.

However, this past winter took its toll on the popular attraction. The foundation and the angel are in need of repair.

According to City Administrator Dennis Jordan, the snow this winter caused the stone base to shift and where water is supposed to flow out of the angel, it won't. The angel also was damaged in other ways during recent windy days.

The city received three bids to repair the fountain, ranging in costs from $6,190 to $17,100, but it will be at least a week before the city decides on how to proceed to repair the fountain.

On Monday night during the Committee of the Whole meeting, officials discussed the repair work. Jordan said everything was set to hire the company with the lowest bid, but council members put a stop to that action.

Alderwoman Mary Jo Fesenmaier said the council can't take official action at a Committee of the Whole meeting.

Alderman Todd Krause agreed. He suggested the item go to the Finance, License and Regulation Committee and to the City Council on May 10.

"We understood that it was important to get this done," Jordan said.

Fesenmaier said, "It is important, but we need to follow procedure."

Jordan said the work will be similar to a reconstruction. The lowest bidder said he would install 18 stainless steel turnbuckles to hold the top sections in place, remove the existing grout and replace with colored grout, repair the water connections to the angel, repair the angel and apply a flexible epoxy protective coating.

The contractor was ready to start work immediately Tuesday and said he would guarantee the work for five years. Jordan said the money could come from the Tax Incremental Financing District, but members of the council suggested it should be taken from the Lakefront fund.

"This is a speciality item," Krause said. "We need to make sure we do our homework on these repairs."

When the committee of the whole agreed there would be no action Monday night, Jordan said it is likely the project still can be completed in time for Memorial Day. He also said the city should look into using a protective covering for the winter so the damage is not repeated in future years.

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