By: Diane Benjamin
The ONLY reason I know the Bloomington water tower in Normal isn’t used is because I FOIA’d the water flow through all towers. That one came up -0-: https://blnnews.com/2015/08/04/more-ineptness/
Information on this tower is close to non-existent. This waste of money was before the Fire Station #5 fiasco. I’ve searched the City website and the Pantagraph archives, I found NOTHING saying when the tower was filled and activated it had to be shut off. Instead of increasing water pressure, pressure dropped because it wasn’t built tall enough. The City evidently never tried to recover costs from anybody or it would have been a news story.
Below is what I did find in the Pantagraph archives:
-In January 2004 the Bill Wills (writers actually used their names then!) wrote an editorial praising George Drye (Bloomington’s director of engineering) for the new water tower built in Normal. He actually called it “a breath of fresh air” because both Bloomington’s and Normal’s names were put on the tower.
-The land was bought in March of 2000, it was meant to eventually hold 3 water towers.
-The City borrowed $8.6 million from the Illinois EPA. The project included a 12-mile water transmission line from Lake Bloomington to the new tower.
-The tower took 8 weeks to build – May 2003.
From the City of Bloomington website:
The $8,600,000 included the tower. How much did the tower cost and how much was the water transmission line?
I don’t have a clue. Maybe Tari can answer at his next Open House. Email and ask him to have the info ready!
If the local paper ever did investigative reporting you would already know. They don’t, so you don’t know.
Here’s who was running the City at the time: FY 2003 CAFR