Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Manteca’s water tower is seismically and structurally sound, and does not need to come down. The fourth paragraph of the same 2006 city-paid engineering analysis quoted in the news article notes, “…the lateral bracing system for the tower and tank, if empty, should perform satisfactorily in the event of an earthquake.” While the third paragraph of the 2006 report paints a dismal scenario based on continued use of the tank for water storage, it does not emphasize the fact that the city terminated use of the water tower for water storage because the municipal water system no longer needed the water pressure provided by the elevated water tower.
Demolition of the water tower is not required, it is not a public safety or health issue, nor is it even an adverse aesthetic matter. It is, however, a wrong decision based on a history of a shortsighted, narrow perspective of the community needs and on fiscally poor advice. Frankly, this current decision follows the same old pattern of the shortsighted thought process that resulted in the loss of the iconic Manteca High School (Bell) Tower and the Southern Pacific Railroad depot. A community-minded city such as Tracy was able to replicate their historic and iconic high school and tower when faced with seismic issues a few years ago. Manteca leadership on the other hand, simply blows it up today and regrets the decision decades from now.
The truth is that transforming the empty water tank into an iconic pumpkin is considerably less expensive than demolition, building a replacement antennas tower, and relocating the existing antennas; and the $775,000 Metro PCS income is still possible by utilizing the existing water tower.
If not for posterity’s sake, do it to save a few bucks; keep the Tower!
Oct. 17, 2011