MCLEAN, Ill. (WMBD) — A small town with a big debate, water tower or historical landmark?
The Village of McLean is in a debate on whether removing a decommissioned water tower is in the town’s best interest.
The water tower was built in 1935 and discontinued use in 2017 after a new water tower was built to better suit the needs of the residents.
In 2019 the village board approved of a park to be placed underneath the original water tower. Now, a majority of the village board would like to remove it. However, some would like to preserve it as a historical landmark.
“We tore down the school over there, we tore down different buildings within downtown, we’re going to come to a point where there’s no history left,” Village of McLean Board Member John Wille said.
The Community Organization for Revitalization and Expansion (C.O.R.E.) stated that they had the original water tower inspected and that it would last, conservatively, another fifty years.
Other residents of the village would like C.O.R.E. to re-vamp other parts of the town in a more central location of the town.
“If CORE, or whoever, decides they would like to beautify the town or whatever, I would rather they do it uptown, and not on that little piece of property where that water tower is.” Dave Nevius, a former village board member, stated.
C.O.R.E. Vice President, Jeff Hake, said that C.O.R.E. would be responsible for the upkeep of the original structure and the park underneath it, including monetary contributions. “We proposed to paint a mural on top in cooperation with a studio, I think in Springfield, that specializes in this kind of mural art. Again, we were going to spend our own money on it to touch up the paint and do whatever it takes to keep this alive.”
The Village of McLean will be holding a meeting on Wednesday to decide the fate of the original water tower.