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Water Towers, Merry and Bright: Part 2

To make your season bright…part 2! Again in 2009 we’ve rounded up some fantastic festive towers decorated for the holiday season! (See Part 1 here or the 2008 collection here and here.)


The Southern Arkansas University Water Tower Candle, photographed by Sounds like “Jee” on Flickr. This circa-1976 water tower is the most recognizable landmark in Magnolia, Arkansas and features a peal of 14 cast bronze bells near the top. The illuminated holiday candle decoration is a tradition that was established in l988.


This photo is from the annual public tree lighting ceremony in Concord, North Carolina by Paul Purser on Flickr, shot while working on a book about Charlotte NC and surrounding communities. (www.destinationcharlottethebook.com.) The water tower reads “All American City” and is a Concord icon. This great photo captures the city Christmas tree, the water tower, and fireworks in one shot.


A striking display from the City of Round Rock, Texas by Christopher Rose (khowaga1) on Flickr



This photo by mfng (Tom) on Flickr shows a landmark water tower in Durham, North Carolina. The site is a former Lucky Strike cigarette factory in the American Tobacco Historic District, now converted into a mixed-use campus of offices, restaurants and condos.


This water tower topped with a light tree is by gorfram on Flickr who notes that every year the Shoreline (Washington) Water District puts up a tree made of lights up on top of this water tower with local merchants donating towards the cost. Her photo was taken just as dusk was deepening into night. There’s a dusting of snow on top of the water tank, the Christmas tree is ringed by various radio masts and other equipment, and the twigs of a Japanese maple are in the foreground.


By QT Long at terragalleria.com, a festive water tower in Tennessee.

Stormwater Grievance Expressed in Sign Language

Ya’lled be mad, too, if the city widened a road and turned your front yard into a storm-powered waterfall headed straight for your front door. Still, it ain’t been easy for the Cary, North Carolina town leaders to appease the annoyed Mr. Bowden. So he’s taken his complaint to the streets with an in-your-face message right on the front of his house. From wral.com (the video news report is embedded below), Mr. Bowden…

…claims a recent widening project on Maynard Road has left his once-arboreal yard void of trees and with a steep slope that funnels rain water into his home.

Bowden, who’s lived in the house since 1992, says he has complained for a year now to the town about water damage underneath his house but was told the drainage issue is with his gutters.

“You don’t have to be an electrical engineer or a construction engineer to know water runs downhill,” he said.

That stinks! But before you get caught up a wellspring of sympathy, there’s another side to the story. Seems the problem didn’t start with the widening (although it did worsen.) And he doesn’t want the problem fixed. He wants no less than a generous taxpayer-funded buyout. That is, top dollar for a so-so property in a depressed real estate market.

Assistant Town Manager Mike Bajorek says he understands Bowden’s frustration but says it’s also frustrating for the town. “We have gone to him and said we have a design that would help resolve (the drainage issue),” Bajorek said. “He said, ‘No, stay off my property. I want you to buy my house.”

Bajorek said the town has purchased houses with drainage problems when there was no possible solution but that it is not willing, at this point, to spend tax money to buy the house.

Bowden told the town that the drainage issue was a problem for years before the widening project when the state Department of Transportation put an overlay on Maynard Road, Bajorek said.

“We have been working on this project for several years,” he said. “We have a fix in place. We’re just waiting for Mr. Bowden to give us the go ahead to install that.”

Good try, Dave, but haven’t you learned that you can’t fight city hall? While you stubbornly refuse to remove the message, the town is citing you for violation of their sign ordinance, with big fines that escalate the longer the eyesore remains–$100 for the first day, $250 for the second and $500 for each day afterward. That’s gonna add up to a surprisingly expensive gripe!