Blue Water Tower Has Some Residents Seeing Red

6 Oct

The Arnold Public Water Supply District #1 board has made the decision to paint its water tower, which is a landmark to area residents and serves as the backdrop for many a politician photo. But the board’s decision to paint the green tower blue has raised objections. Here’s a recent photo of the tower, which has been green since it was built in 1977, complete with rigging which will hold a curtain during sandblasting and painting.

Arnol water tower, October 2015

Arnold water tower, October 2015

Here’s a photo from today with the curtain, via Facebook:

Arnold water tower with curtain, October 2015

Arnold water tower with curtain, October 2015

Not only will the tower be repainted by the end of November, but the top of the tower will read differently. Here’s a mockup:

Conceptual drawing of Arnold water tower after painting.

Conceptual drawing of Arnold water tower after painting.

Water district manager Mike Siedler says in the Leader that cities just don’t do green water towers anymore. They do blue because it is supposed to blend in with the sky. Here’s what water district board member Bill James said on Facebook:

They don’t paint water towers green anymore, they look like a tree that that’s been cut back. We wanted a more pleasing color for eyes that blends in with the sky,that looks cool and clean. Back in the 70s that was the color, look around you don’t see green water towers anymore.

A lot of people are not buying this. A change.org petition was started a day ago, and it already has over 700 signatures as I write this. You can see the petition here. This is what it says:

The Arnold water tower has stood for years as a symbol of the hardworking, close knit community of individuals that make up Arnold, Missouri. The notion that this icon would forever be altered is a tragedy. Our tower stands tall, proud and green. It is a Snapchat filter. It is a Wikipedia image. It is a beacon of comfort for every home-bound college student, for every person driving home after a long day’s work. Painting the Arnold water tower blue is like painting the Arch purple. Unnecessary and emotionally distressing.  #KEEPITGREEN

That #keepitgreen hashtag is active on Twitter:

The Leader did not mention the change in the text of the tower, but I think this is perhaps more egregious than the color change. Who cares that the water district owns the tower? Given its status as a local landmark, it should stay inclusive of the whole community and simply say “Arnold.”

The members of the water district board, along with Bill James, are Phil Hogan, Ralph Sippel, Kurt Rose, and Mary Kennedy. The contact information for Siedler, the district executive director, is (636) 296-0659 and msiedler@pwsd1jeffco.org.

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