Letter to the editor: Renovate water tower
To the editor:
Dramatic city utility rate increases are being proposed when many in our community are struggling to pay for basic needs due to the pandemic.
At the same time, the city utilities division proposes an expensive new project in Water Tower Park, a few blocks west of the KU campus. The project would destroy the existing steel water tower, replacing it with an industrial concrete structure and accessory building(s).
A study commissioned by the city in 2014 states that the existing tower has at least 20 years of remaining useful life, given proper maintenance. That maintenance, according to the study, would cost around $1 million. Construction of the new tower would approach nearly triple that amount.
I urge the city to renovate rather than replace the water tower at Water Tower Park. By fully employing the existing water tower’s useful life, the city would preserve an iconic structure, respect the park that is a beloved feature of the West Hills neighborhood, and demonstrate prudent financial management at this time of severely strained taxpayer budgets.