Brainerd City Council Discusses Historic Water Tower’s Future
The Brainerd City Council met Monday night at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the future of the Historic Water Tower in Downtown Brainerd. Recently, stucco has begun flaking and falling off the tower, which is listed on the U.S. National Registry of Historic Places.
“The big topic is the water tower. Both literally, however you look at it, it’s the biggest topic we have tonight,” said Dave Pritschet, Brainerd City Council President. “We’ve been having some issues with stucco coming down again and so now, we have to revisit and see where we’re going to go from here.”
The tower, which is almost 100 years old, underwent a series of restorative chipping projects in 2014.
The city discussed different plans of action, which include adding a roof on the existing structure, adding a concrete dome replica to the tower, repeating the restorative projects that were done four years ago, or demolishing it all together.
“The option that we really want to avoid if at all possible is demolition. There are a couple of rehabilitation repair options that are available, but the price tag on them is quite high. We’re talking about $2.5 million for those so, you know, I think if we can find a way to get the money and get a plan to be able to preserve the water tower, that would be the best of all worlds,” Pritschet added.
The meeting had many more people in attendance than usual. The audience consisted of many community members who attended in order to voice their opinion to save the water tower.
“It’s worth saving because it’s a Brainerd icon and every town in Minnesota has its own thing and at the town when you come in,” said Sharon Prindle, who attended the meeting. “Brainerd has to have the water tower, so I don’t want to see it go.”
At Monday’s meeting, the City Council looked to establish a sense of direction for the future of the tower, as well as generate a timeline for when the changes will occur.
“I don’t want to see it go, if there’s any way at all of saving it,” Prindle added. “Once it’s gone, you can’t bring it back.”
The Historic Water Tower was completed in 1922 and was retired from use in 1959.