Controversy over Upstate water tower

Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT
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PICKENS, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A movement to keep a prominent water tower in downtown Pickens is creating controversy between the city’s Mayor and residents.

The long-standing water tower can be seen from miles away.

“You see this whenever you’re coming from any angle Liberty, Easley, Clemson. Whenever you come up this way you see that tower.” Kirby Cheeks is a resident of Pickens who wants to see the tower restored.

The city’s Mayor, Fletcher Perry, told Fox Carolina an inspection was done on the tower back in April and the finders were released in May.

According to the inspection, there are structural issues with the foundation and roof. It sights missing bolts and clamps and holes in the roof. It’s also covered in lead paint. The Mayor said his main concern is safety, but documents say the tower can withstand 114mph winds.

Documents reveal it would cost $400,000 to revitalize the water tower and $100,000 to remove and clear the area.

Neighbors in the area said, tearing it down would be a major loss to the city.

“My dad used to bring me out here to walk around just to go shopping out in the streets and everything and we walked by the tower and I always used to look up at it. I was probably 6 or 7 years old,” said Frank Owens.

John Messer said, “It’s been here for a long time. It’s a part of Pickens”.

Members of the community have organized a meeting outside the Pickens County Courthouse. That is set for Thursday at 6:30p.m.