Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Group Wants to Save Green Cove Water Tower

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Group Wants to Save Green Cove Water Tower

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- To some people, water towers just hold

water.

To others, they are symbols of a community's history, reminders

of times gone by or landmarks worthy of protection.

That's why a small group of Green Cove Springs residents wants

to save and possibly restore a city-owned water tower that until

recently stood just off Roderico Road behind the Clay County

School Board administration building.

And that's why they protested when a city contractor recently

dismantled the tower.

"The water tower has important historical value to us as a

city," said Susan Pritchett, group spokeswoman and wife of

outgoing City Council member Greg Will. "It is not the type of

structure people think of when they think of preservation, but .

. . they are a portion of our history."

After an appeal by Pritchett, the City Council agreed to cancel

plans to sell the dismantled tower as scrap metal. The council

gave the citizens group six months to investigate how much money

such a restoration project would cost and whether grant money

was available to pay for it.

In the meantime, city officials will come up with a plan to

protect the pieces of the tower that are lying on the ground at

the site where it once stood.

The tower is at least 70 years old, although city officials

said they are not sure exactly when it was erected. It has long

been out of service, but the city kept it maintained so that it

would not be a safety hazard.

Last year, when council members decided against continuing that

maintenance cost, they decided to have it dismantled as a safety

measure. City officials hired a contractor in January, but the

project did not get under way until earlier this month.

"The information we received [from an engineering report] was

that it would be a tremendous liability as long as it was up

there. It was a danger," said Councilman Calvin Wilcox.

At the time, some council members expressed regret at the move. …

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