MILLSTADT, Ill. (KSDK) - A water tower in a small St. Clair County town could get torn down, but hundreds are hoping to help save the Millstadt landmark. It's spawned a social media campaign that's gotten an outpour of support.
"A lot of people look up to her, but if we don't do anything for her, she'll start to deteriorate," said Patty Evansco, who is the executive director of the township's senior services. The senior services building is located just feet from the Millstadt Water Tower, which has been perched above the village since 1933.
From any view, her age is visible. It's the reason she was replaced last year with the help of federal stimulus funds, cash that came in with a caveat: funded projects couldn't result in a historic structure being destroyed. But to keep her standing, it would cost the township $200,000, which is money it just doesn't have. And it would actually be cheaper to tear the tower down.
"My most fond memories of the tower is when they would get the water from Belleville to Millstadt and they would send too much and the water tower would overflow and people would pull their cars underneath it just like a car wash," Evansco said.
"Someone tried to jump off of it," said Alan Helfer, 27, who has been living in the town for eight years. "They climbed it. The fire department was out there, like, the whole town was there to see it all happen."
He learned of the most recent push to help pay for restoration - $50 per resident - and said, let her drown.
"Work is hard right now and the economy is bad so why do you want to put the money in a water tower when you can be spend it on more important things," Helfer said.
"I'm just hoping some millionaire will come forward and say, here's $200,000," Evansco said.
Those who want to save theMillstadt Water Tower have taken to Facebook andstarted a petition in hopes that it'll inspire the village to find a way.
For now, officials say there's no official plan.