North Liberty's first water tower comes down
The tower had been inactive since 2008
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NORTH LIBERTY — After 40 years standing in the middle of North Liberty, the city’s first water tower has come down.
Crews with Michigan’s Iseler Construction closed off a portion of Main Street Thursday morning, set up a crane and dismantled the 200,000-gallon water tower, piece by piece.
Iseler originally planned to dismantle the water tower Tuesday, but high winds postponed the demolition to Thursday.
But as Greg Metternich, North Liberty’s water superintendent, noted, the tower has been inactive since the city’s third water tower, a 1 million-gallon vessel, went online in 2008.
Four decades old, the structure dubbed Water Tower 1, had reached the end of its life span.
“We came to the conclusion that it was going to need quite a bit of maintenance, it was going to be pretty costly,” Metternich said. “This has been in the making pretty much since 2008.”
Ryan Heiar, North Liberty city administrator, said the 40-year-old structure went through an inspection about eight years ago and it was decided to retire the old tower, which was built for the city’s first water system, which went online in 1977.
“The integrity of the tower is just such that it doesn’t make sense to repair it at this point, it served a useful and long life,” Heiar said.
Metternich said the $18,000 to demolish the tower was set aside years ago, but it took awhile to relocate equipment on the tower belonging to cellular and Internet service providers.
“It was kind of a drawn out process,” he said.
As for water storage in the growing community, Heiar said the city plans to construct a 750,000 gallon ground storage tank next to the city’s water plant. That project could go out for bid in roughly one year, he said.
As North Liberty’s population grows, so does it’s water consumption. In 1996, when the city recently activated it’s second tower, a 400,000-gallon vessel, the city used an average daily water flow of about 325,000 gallons, Metternich said.
Today, the city uses about 1.2 million gallons a day.
Heiar said the spot where the tower once stood is being eyed as space for a future addition to the adjacent North Liberty Fire Department building.
Last year, the North Liberty City Council received design renderings for a civic campus project on Cherry Street — a building that would provide new and larger facilities to the city council, police, telecommunications, legal, human resources, administration, and water and billing departments, while also expanding the nearby fire department.
Heiar said there is no specific timeline for the project, but he expects it to remain a city goal in the coming years.