Manassas City Council votes to check preference on H2O tower
December 22, 2014 - Essential Water
The Manassas City Council voted Monday to give a city’s 100-year-old H2O building another six-month reprieve.
The legislature voted unanimously to defer until Jun a preference on either to explode a H2O building or try to safety it. The deferral gives a tower’s supporters some-more time to lift income for an architectural consult that could pave a approach for a city to accept state and sovereign grants to safety a tower.
The legislature had voted during a special assembly in Jul to postpone a preference until this month, to give a tower’s supporters time to lift a $180,000 indispensable for upkeep and repairs. Although a fundraising bid stalled, building supporters pronounced they wish a architectural consult will outcome in a structure being combined to a National Register of Historic Places, that could lead to estimable extend funding.
The Manassas Water and Sewer Department had asked a legislature to sanction dispersion of a tower, that contributes small to a city’s H2O supply and is in need of dear repairs. It costs about $10,000 a year to work a tower. Supporters of a building — that stands 147 feet above Old Town and bears a “Welcome to Manassas“ nod — cruise it to be an essential partial of a city’s character.
“The H2O building is a really iconic structure,” pronounced Jan Alten, who lives in Old Town Manassas and owns Opera House Gourmet. “Every place has to have something unique. [It] has been a contrition of Northern Virginia that they have only wiped and obliterated all that was, for a consequence of something new.”
Alten, who serves on a adults advisory cabinet on a H2O tower, pronounced that a building could be used to assistance marketplace a city.
Stephen Hersch, a fifth-generation Manassas proprietor who also serves on a advisory committee, has been heading efforts to build recognition and lift income to safety a structure, including origination of a Facebook page that has gained some-more than 600 followers. He pronounced that a organisation has perceived a offer from consultant Alexa McDowell to control a architectural consult for $7,500.
“She has finished a lot of work on ancestral American H2O towers and has successfully prepared a assignment packages for fixation towers on a National Register” of Historic Places, he said.
Hersch pronounced that a organisation has perceived commitments for $2,500 and hopes to lift a remaining $5,000 over a subsequent 30 to 60 days.
“There is no obligatory need to throw a tank,” legislature member Jonathan L. Way (R) pronounced during a assembly Monday. “However, as most as we competence like a tower, it’s not picturesque to design taxpayers to [pay] a $200,000 up-front check for complicated upkeep and restoration.”
Way pronounced he suspicion that a adults cabinet had been creation swell in acid for financing.
“It might be slower than we had hoped for, though it’s progress,” Way said. He due that a legislature defer movement for an additional 6 months and afterwards reevaluate a prospects for receiving extend funding.
“We can’t design full reviews and approvals then, though we’ll have a most improved thought of a practicality and timing,” he said.
Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II (R) replied, “It does seem to me that another 6 months substantially isn’t going to emanate a problem, though if we continue with 6 months after 6 months, afterwards it does turn a problem.”
Hersch pronounced in an talk Thursday that he was gratified by a council’s decision.
“We didn’t wish to launch a grave debate to lift those supports until we had a grave joining from a city to give us a respirating room,” he said.
“The folks in city here are really vehement about a awaiting of saving a tower, since it’s not only nostalgia,” Hersch said. “People have an appreciation for a purpose a building has played in a growth of this city.”
Barnes is a freelance writer.