Orland water tower on the chopping block


ORLAND, Calif. - The Orland water tank, which is one of the first structures built in the city, may become obsolete. City Manager Pete Carr is preparing the small town of about 8,000 that it may have to be taken down.

"You know, I would say at least five more years," said Carr "It takes time, for not just the engineering but the funding for these kinds of things." The water tower's capacity is 80,000 gallons which is sufficient for now. But studies show that Orland's population will grow significantly over the next 15 years. Carr said Orland will also need a more state-of-the-art system, which will cost in the millions of dollars.

"We would probably replace it with a ground-mounted water storage tank that holds 700 to 800,000 gallons," he said. Besides not being able to serve the long-time water needs of a growing population, the water tank does not meet state seismic regulations.

But attempts to disassemble the tower wouldn't come without some heated debate. Gary Campbell, who owns R&R Sales Vehicle Center which is directly across from the tower, said he'd put up a fight to keep the tower. Campbell spent $2,000 of his own money to put lights on it so that it could be seen by passing motorists driving on I-5.

"You can see we're pretty proud of it," said Campbell. "We've lit it and it's got our name across it."

"Even bigger cities like Chico have water towers within their city limits." Ultimately, the Orland City Council will decide the water tower's fate, but that won't be for years from now.