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ĎIconicí water tower demolished

Richard D. L. Fulton

(10/10) A Thurmont water tower which bore the name of the town has been demolished, the structure having been decommissioned years ago.

Jim Humerick, chief administrative officer for the Town of Thurmont, said October 9 that the water tower had been completely demolished and was undergoing site remediation (grading and seeding) by the project contractor.

Humerick said the town contracted with Maryland Excavation Contractors to take the approximately 45-foot Flanagan Road tower down at a cost of $14,900, which was paid-for out of operations budget. There are no options by which the town could otherwise recoup the cost.

The administrative officer said the company would be permitted to dispose of or sell the scrap and keep any money raised in that manner.

The iconic tower was built in 1939, and served as "one of the primary water sources for years," Humerick stated. He said the tower has not been used "for approximately ten years."

The tower ceased being used after the town after it was replaced with other water sources. "Weíve installed other towers and other wells," he said. "The (old) tower hasnít been utilized since the new towers went up. We have wells all throughout town (now)," as well as storage towers.

"Different wells and towers serve different parts of the town," Humerick stated. "Itís a complex distribution system."

The administrator said the old tower was composed 3/8"-inch thick steel, but there were no records on the history of it, nor the specifications, and the actual capacity of the tank was also an unknown.

"We didnít have any of the specs back then (from when the tower was originally erected). We had to estimate (specifications) to get costs" of what it might take to get rid of it.

The tower sat on a 60x60-foot site on Flanagan Road, and the town has no plans for the use of the tract. He said town staff "will continue to maintain it. Itís such a small area and we have no plans for that (any use) yet."

Humerick said that the board of commissioners had become concerned about the physical condition of the tower, resulting the recent demolition.

"I know it was something the commissioners planned on removing for a couple of years." He stated. "(They were) Starting to be a little concerned about the structural integrity and thought it was time to go ahead and dismantle it."

Demolition also alleviated the town from having to continue to main the obsolete structure.

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