New Emporia water tower takes shape with bowl raised into position Tuesday Featured

Emporia city officials and others associated with the southeast Emporia water tower project watch the nearly 75-foot-wide bowl leave the ground Tuesday. It took over three hours for the bowl to be lifted to the top of of the water tower and be secured in place. Emporia city officials and others associated with the southeast Emporia water tower project watch the nearly 75-foot-wide bowl leave the ground Tuesday. It took over three hours for the bowl to be lifted to the top of of the water tower and be secured in place. Chuck Samples/KVOE News

Emporia's new water tower was the site of a bowl-raising ceremony Tuesday.


The steel tank was gradually lifted, or jacked, into place as the process continues to get the 1-million-gallon tower ready for use. The tower will certainly help residents and industrial businesses nearby, but it will also help the city as a whole -- and that was a theme mentioned frequently by city officials on site. City Manager Mark McAnarney says it's the latest improvement to help Emporia's overall water system, especially on the east side of town.



City Engineer Jim Ubert says this could lead to improvements in the city's fire rating -- which could in turn lead to other benefits for residents.

The city worked with the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for funding the over $3 million water tower, and the city got a $1.3 million grant to help with construction. Mayor Jon Geitz says that partnership was critical in starting construction, and he says the city is also eyeing more development in the area with an Opportunity Zone designation approved earlier this year -- paving the way for people to reinvest certain capital gains into so-called Opportunity Funds and spurring business projects at the same time.

EDA representative Mark Werthmann says the project has already led to dividends for the city.



The city worked with BG Consultants and Caldwell Tanks of Louisville, Kentucky, on the design and construction of the water tower, which will hold a million gallons or nearly 4,200 tons of water when it's finished. It has the same capacity and is virtually identical to the water tower on Interstate 35 near the Burlingame Road junction. The tower will have a 199-foot high-water level. All told, over 210 tons of steel and over 100 truckloads of concrete have gone into building the new water tower.

Over 100 people came out to see the start of the process, which was delayed about 20 minutes by a brief shower.

 

Photos by Chuck Samples/KVOE News

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