Click here to go to the Home Page

April 30, 2001
New Kearney water tower is planned to the letter
by Mike Konz, Kearney Hub

Letters 10 feet tall will adorn Kearney's new water tower when it is complete in September 2002.

There are no plans percolating, however, to put a slogan on the tower, said engineer Reed Miller of Kearney, a fan of water-tower graphics.

The letters spelling out the city's name will be large, Miller said, because the new 2-million-gallon water tower will be the largest ever erected in Kearney.

When it is built west of the Target department store in north Kearney, the new tower will rise 150 feet, or almost half the length of a football field. The tower's bowl will measure 100 feet across.

In comparison, Kearney's existing tower in northwest Kearney stands 120 feet tall and measures 80 feet across at its bowl. That tower can hold 1.5 million gallons.

The new tower's dimensions, added with the higher elevation in north Kearney, will help boost water pressure so that all of the city's residents will have the same pressure. Today, some parts of Kearney have lower pressure than the rest of the town.

The Kearney City Council last week awarded the $1,679,000 bid to build the new tower to Chicago Bridge and Iron of Clive, Iowa. The company is one of only two U.S. companies that take on such big projects. Construction will begin this summer, but the work will stretch well into 2002.

Miller said the only thing adorning the tower will be the 10-foot block letters, but he said he enjoys it when communities are creative with the graphics on their water towers.

Two years ago, York residents debated for several months before deciding to paint their tower along Interstate 80 like a colorful hot-air balloon.

Miller, whose firm does municipal engineering around the state, said that several years ago, he tried unsuccessfully to sell leaders in the small western Nebraska community of Maxwell on the idea of painting a slogan on their new tower.

Maxwell was OK with the idea, but copyright attorneys for a famous American coffee company worried that the slogan, "Maxwell, good to the last drop," might eventually fade and look uglyi

top | Home