Down with the Old, Up with the New

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The iconic Wanamingo water tower is making its last stand this summer. With the completion of the new water tower south of town, the 96 year-old structure will be removed. The new water tower will increase the capacity from the two current structures and stands about forty-feet higher as well. The new water tower is expected to be in operation by the end of October of this year.

Efforts to save the old tower or move it to a new location were scrapped because of cost. One idea was to relocate the water tower to the Little Log House Pioneer Village near Hastings, but the owner was not willing to pay to dismantle the structure and the contractor who is going to remove the tower was not willing to take it apart in a manner that would allow it to be reassembled.

The water tower has an interesting historical event connected to it with a bi-plane accident in 1930, which took the lives of three young local men. Wanamingo historian, Gary Bakko, has written an excellent article on the events of that fateful day. The south side of the tank still bears the dent from the collision of the air craft.

If the water tower were to be left standing there would still be expenses to assure it remained structurally sound and the council did not feel that the city should saddle the residents with additional costs. The tower may have remained for up to fifty more years, but would have required filling the tank with sand, repainting the exterior every ten years and then the expense of removal at some time in the future. A crew will be removing the water storage unit on the north end of town and it will be most cost effective to take down the red hat water tower at the same time this November.

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