by C.F. David
The water tower which supplies the residents of Boise City with fresh water, is a local landmark, and has been so for more than 80 years. It was erected in 1927, and has stood its vigil and supplied fresh water through the depression, dust bowl, ‘the dirty 30s and 50s” and five wars.
It has supplied water for livestock, baths, drinking and recreation, but in its advancing years, a decision must be made to either replace or to continue to repair the tower. Either choice stands a chance of being several thousands of dollars in outlay.
City Manager Rod Avery makes the age of the tower at about 81 years, having been built in 1927.
Avery explains that the city has been stockpiling grant money to make repairs, (the tower sprung a leak during the winter of 2006, which was later repaired.), but consideration is now being given to using the money to apply to a new tower.
Avery explains that there are several design options, a tower much like we have, the more aesthetic “golf ball” or the cheaper but serviceable “standpipe” tank.
Avery said the possible replacement tank has progressed only as far as the discussion mode among the councilmen.
However he admits that he leans toward the less expensive model, the “standpipe” and thereby using the grant money to “pay down on the tower” and probably obtaining a loan to pay for the balance.
Avery estimates the tower will cost in the neighborhood of one-half million to construct and that the money needed could come in the form of a low interest loan from an enterprise account from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.
“We need to do something [about the tower], and I’d think we’d sell the old one,” Avery said.
As for the location of the new tower, Avery explained that piping locations would dictate the new tower be close to the old, perhaps on the lot just west, or to the southwest near the Public Works Warehouse.
Mayor Craig Sanders said the tower, if built as a “standpipe” would be about 130 feet high with a diameter of 50 feet, and offer an additional 20 thousand gallons of storage. The present tower is fed by six wells and feeds about 800 meters in the city at about one-million gallons of water per day on peak usage.
“I look at it this way,” Sanders said. “Back in 1926-28 we had citizens with the foresight to belly up and pay for a tower that has supplied the city and it’s people for 80 years. In that time we’ve had good clean, fresh water, with very few failures. It’s time for this generation to make a decision to leave something to take care of the succeeding generations.”
“In any case, the council has voted to investigate the installation of a new water tower. There’s a lot to be done and it won’t be erected in six months.”