Chico Says ‘No’ to Repurposing Historic Water Tower

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UPDATE In August 2017, the Chico Heritage Association campaigned for saving four historic water towers in the town as the California Water Service was poised to demolish them. The only thing saving the towers was the plan to repurpose them as an antenna-bearing structure.

Now, one of the towers is set for removal and replacement by a monopole, to improve service, pending city approval, reported the Enterprise-Record.

 The new tower will host both Verizon and T-Mobile service.

“The proposed faux tank cell site will house Verizon antennas/equipment inside the structure, thereby camouflaging it from view,” Heidi Flato of Verizon said in an email. 

The removal plan addresses seismic stability concerns first analyzed in 2017, according to George Barber, district manager of the California Water Service for Chico and Oroville, which led to the decision.

The project was initially slated to begin at the end of June but is pending work with Verizon as well as the permit from the city, according to Barber. Per the project’s primary engineer, a timeline has not been set as Verizon must first remove all current wireless equipment from the tower for demolition to begin. The project will need at least two more months once the tower is ready for demolition, to entirely remove the structure, place the new cell tower and reinstall all of Verizon’s equipment, reported the Enterprise-Record.

June 5, 2019

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