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Potential concepts for Orem water tank park ready for first glance

By Genelle Pugmire - | Sep 15, 2021

Steven M. Downs

Concept shows what things may be placed in the park area. (Courtesy Steven Downs, Orem city)

After much negotiation and planning, Orem is submerging a 10 million gallon water tank on property acquired at approximately 400 South and 400 West

The property, previously own by Arlen Farley, will also house some form of walking paths and quiet spaces for residents to enjoy — if the public approves.

During the Tuesday City Council work session, concept ideas for what might be done to the area were presented for the first time. The desire is to get the council onboard with the concepts so city staff can move forward with a meeting Sept. 29 for the general public to see the concepts.

The concepts are preliminary and not set in stone. What is set in stone is the water tank itself that will be a form of concrete rather than a steel tank. The tank takes up about 50% of the ground area.

There are several concerns regarding the tank. There’s worry about easements that might occur, each corner of the property seemingly has a different height and the desire to keep the tank not higher that four feet above ground.

Steven M. Downs

Preliminary concept for water tank park at 400 West 400 South.(Courtesy Steven Downs, Orem city)

According to Sam Kelly, the city engineer, the tank will be about four feet above ground as per city code. Lowering the tank one foot lower in the ground costs about $500,000.

The area does not offer a lot of parking, perhaps eight or nine stalls, but the open land is not designed to be a playground. There is some parallel parking on the street and when not in use there is parking across the street at the Orem Elementary School.

There are limited options for use of the top of the tank, according to Kelly. “No deep rooted vegetation, including trees because there is limited irrigation allowed.”

It is recommended the top of the covered tank would have native grasses, perennials, shrubs and mulch.

“We are also suggesting historic features and a pergola,” Kelly said. “The tank will be 100% buried and there will be no visuals of the concrete tank.”

According to Larsen there is also an adjacent pump station and well.

Kelly said it appears there are two very different trains of thought from the residents on what they would like to have happen.

One group would like to have the whole property fenced and not accessible. The other group would like the park/walking path design.

“I would hate to see this property not have access,” said Mayor Richard Brunst.

Councilman David Spencer note that residents were told they would not see the tank area. “The tank needs to be as low as possible,” Spencer said.

There is some concern the height at certain parts of the property would need to have an 8 foot or higher fence to protect neighbor’s property from public viewing.

Some of the council would not want walking paths on top of the tank, but solely around the perimeter of the tank.

Councilwoman Debby Lauret said she would like to see a fence around the tank area, perhaps a black iron fence that can be seen through for safety purposes.

The hope was to get approval from the council on these introductory concepts so the Sept. 29 neighborhood meeting could be held.

Brunst said he is OK with the date as long the council gets to have a look at them first.

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