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Water tower to get upgrades
The 128-year-old water tower at Lincoln Park has been designated a historic site on both state and national registers. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - The Board of Public Works agreed to allocate half the costs of Lincoln Park water tower improvements from the Monroe Fund to three projects totaling roughly $8,000 after a request from the Green County Historical Society.

Members agreed to share costs to update the water tower that was initially saved from destruction in 2005. The 128-year-old water tower was designated a historic place on both state and national registers through the effort of the GCHS because of two unique facets. The water tower represents, architecturally, what 19th century Wisconsin towers looked like. It is also historically significant because it symbolizes the municipal water system that changed everyday life in the 20th century.

On Monday, GCHS president John Glynn provided the three aldermen on the board with project details.

The GCHS board met Jan. 5 and unanimously decided to continue maintenance of the water tower. The group plans to power wash the interior of the structure, lay a four-inch concrete floor inside and spray a wet mix of concrete around the 3-foot base of the tower in order to replace crumbling stucco. Costs of the projects would be split between the Monroe Fund, which was established through an estate and accrues interest to be used by a few groups in the city, and GCHS fundraising.

Director of Public Works Al Gerber said there would be liability issues if workers went up the wooden staircase inside the structure, though Glynn said no one will. Gerber added that each of the companies that will be doing the work - All Star Power Washing of Shullsburg, Rock Solid Concrete of Monroe and Tri-State Basement Repair of Richland Center - would need to provide certificates of insurance. The certificates would need to be provided to the city before work began.

Power washing the interior will cost about $2,000, as will the laying of the concrete floor. In spraying shot crete around the base of the structure, workers will put down a mesh to help the material adhere to the limestone foundation before tossing down the concrete and smoothing it over. That project will cost roughly $4,000.

The board voted unanimously to allow for the funding to be used for the projects. Alderman Jeff Newcomer thanked Glynn and the historical society for keeping up the presentation of the water tower in its "test of time."