Bon Air residents don't want water tower near homes - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Bon Air residents don't want water tower near homes

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Controversy is brewing over a possible water tower in Bon Air. Chesterfield County is considering a location in the middle of several neighborhoods, right next to Robious Middle School. But some residents are saying "no way."

For a year, the county utilities department has looked at that location as a possible spot for a new water tower.  The issue goes before the planning commission Tuesday.

But some people say they've only known about this a few weeks.

"Why do they want to put it in a residential area?," asked Bon Air resident Rob Siemers. "It's the first time, probably in history of Chesterfield that we're putting a humongous water tower in a very nice residential area."

The county utilities department needs to replace the current 44-year old tower.  It stores one million gallons of water -- too little for the area.

There are five possible locations and all would work. But the one utilities likes the best is in a neighborhood  next to Robious Middle School.

The utilities department likes this location because of the elevation. The water pressure will be maintained.  The water tower would hold two million gallons and would stand 140-feet high. It would take 18 months to build. 

Siemers will have a clear shot of the tower from his home. So will Mike Vandeweghe.

"In the winter you will clearly see a two million gallon, 14-story structure," Vandeweghe said. "A monstrosity right next to Robious Middle School."

The current water tower off of Robious Road stands about 140 tall.

People now worry about their property values.

"This is going to be a monument that everybody's going to say 'We live by the huge water tower, take a right or a left there.' It's going to be a marker for the neighborhood -- we think a terrible marker, Vandeweghe said.

The planning commission meets tomorrow. The county is going to ask that a vote on the water tower project be deferred 30 days.

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