WITH VIDEO: Killdeer to lose water tower landmark

The city of Killdeer soon will have a completely different skyline – one without its iconic water tower.

The 50,000-gallon elevated water reservoir serving the city of Killdeer was constructed in the 1930s, but now is structurally unstable. (PHOTO BY BRYCE MARTIN/HERALD)
The 50,000-gallon elevated water reservoir serving the city of Killdeer was constructed in the 1930s, but now is structurally unstable. (PHOTO BY BRYCE MARTIN/HERALD)

By BRYCE MARTIN

Herald Editor

Posted April 5, 2013

KILLDEER — The city of Killdeer soon will have a completely different skyline – one without its iconic water tower.

It was decided during the Killdeer City Commission meeting Monday that the blue-green landscape marker that is the elevated Killdeer water tower, standing at the corner of Highway 22 and High Street, will be deconstructed.

The commission previously heard community members’ pleas for the water tower’s continued presence, which marks the city’s skyline, but offered a unanimous vote to tear it down.

The decision chiefly was made due to the tower’s structural instability and extensive cost for maintenance.

A water tank on the ground will replace the 50,000-gallon capacity water tower and will stand next to the city’s existing ground-dwelling water reserve tank.

The city recently received a re-bid of $897,225 to construct the new 310,000-gallon water reservoir, which was desired for additional water storage, culminating in a $211,680 savings on the entire project from a bid the city received in October.

For the teardown of the elevated water tank, the cost was bid at $38,795.

“It’s good news, not great news,” said Russ Sorensen, engineer for A2S. “I’ve never seen a tank that size come down for less than $40,000.”

The project is funded through grant that was already applied for by the city.

Constructed in the 1930s, the water tower is not considered a historical landmark, but maintains status as an icon for residents and passers-by.

But not all residents see the demolition as a sign of Killdeer’s future.

“I will miss seeing it,” Chris Christie of Killdeer wrote on the Herald’s Facebook page. “Kind of sad in a way.”

Killdeer resident Verna Wolff met with the commission last year to discuss a means of saving some part of the landmark.

The city reported that rehabilitation of the tower would not provide adequate additional service life to justify the cost of rehabilitation, projected to cost over $500,000. But the commissioners decided it was in the city’s best interest if a piece of the tank was saved and used to commemorate the tower.

The rehabilitation of the existing 190,000-gallon ground storage reservoir, built it the 1980s, includes new pipe penetration, sand blasting, prime and finish coating, lettering of the Killdeer city name and clean-up of debris.

Demolition and removal of the 50,000-gallon elevated storage reservoir includes dust control, lead paint testing, disposal of steel foundations and coating on steel and restoration of site dirt work and seeding.

A timeline for the project currently is uncertain.

Contact Bryce Martin at bmartin@countrymedia.net.


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