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Nampa asking for community input over fate of 'landmark' water tank

Assistant city engineer Jeff Barnes says the tank has reached its average lifespan and with only a 500,000 gallon capacity it no longer meets the city's needs. Based on current projections the city says they would need a tank that could hold 1.5 million gallons of water. (KBOI Staff Photo)

When you're driving into Nampa on I-84 you can't miss the water tower. Some consider it a landmark. It's been there for nearly 50 years.

The Idaho Press spoke to city leaders at a meeting on Monday where they discussed replacing the water tower. They decided to put off their decision until they hear from the public.

Assistant City Engineer Jeff Barnes says the tank has reached its average lifespan and with only a 500,000 gallon capacity it no longer meets the city's needs. Based on current projections the city says they would need a tank that could hold 1.5 million gallons of water.

They recommended demolishing the tank and replacing it with a new concrete structure three times the size of the current tank.

But city leaders, including mayor Debbie Kling, had several people contact them with concerns about tearing it down.

"I see both sides. I think that there is a reason to maybe leave it just because it's a landmark and you know I've lived here 35 years myself so I understand wanting to keep what's been around for many years," Nampa resident Scott Bullock said. "But I also understand wanting to do an improvement. So if they're going to take it down and rebuild a new one I also understand why they'd want to do that."

The city may have other options besides tearing the tank down. They could keep it as a landmark and build a new tank elsewhere but the current area is the ideal spot for the tank.

They could also refurbish it but it wouldn't be large enough for the amount of water the city needs. Barnes says demolishing the tank and replacing it is the most cost effective option.

A city spokeswoman says the city will be putting out a survey very soon and gathering the feedback before they make any decisions.


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