by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
An obsolete water tower was removed in Owosso Charter Township on Monday, Sept. 9 after township officials had contracted Iseler Demolition of Port Hope to dismantle it. Iseler employees began to dismantle the tower around 8 a.m. Monday morning, with some workers perched at the top. A crane was then used to hoist large panels of steel from the tower to the ground where other employees continued to deconstruct the larger pieces.
The steel tower was situated toward the north end of the industrial park located on S. Delaney Road. It was one of the earliest features of the industrial park, considering that the water system built within the park was developed in the 1970s using a federal jobs-creation grant and was utilized up until 2011. Iseler Demolition was hired to dismantle the tower and dispose of the scrap metal in an agreement with the township.
Owosso Charter Township Fire Chief Dave Johnson and Pat Skvarenina, township clerk, shared that the tower had not been used in years. The township had reached a significant agreement with the city of Owosso over water service in 2011, eliminating the necessity of the tower in the industrial park.
The Owosso City Council and Owosso Charter Township Board reached the now historic water agreement in January 2011 to ensure that township residents and businesses desiring municipal water would have access to it. The city of Owosso has a similar agreement with Caledonia Charter Township.
During the 1990s, the city and township had worked together on establishing the economic development area for Woodard on S. Delaney Road. Decades ago, city water had been extended to the townships to assure manufacturing plant construction, but much of that changed during the 1970s. The city’s position in the early 1970s was to protect downtown businesses by not selling water outside the city limits.
Standing in front of the crane and tower Monday morning are (from left) Owosso Township Supervisor Steve Schweikert, Terry Miller with Iseler Demolition, Owosso Township Clerk Pat Skvarenina and Chief Dave Johnson.
As an interesting side note, former state Rep. Dick Ball worked for six years between the city and the township on the water agreement, along with then Owosso Utilities Director Gary Burk. Ball died on Saturday, Sept. 7, just three days prior to the removal of the water tower.