The City has been studying site locations and the feasibility of a new water tank in the Park View area. Staff members from the Department of Public Utilities and the City's consulting engineers have determined that the existing tank was nearing the end of its useful life and would likely need to be replaced within the next ten years. The new tank will not only enable further development, but also provide reliability and sustainability to the backbone of the system that serves neighboring homes and businesses in the Park View area. Additional information pertaining to this project is available at www.HarrisonburgVA.gov/park-view-water-tank.

Twenty families make up the Village Square Property Homeowners Association. The Association supports the need to upgrade the Park View water infrastructure. We understand the need to build the tower and the location chosen by the City of Harrisonburg on Eastern Mennonite University property. We support the planned use of the University’s property for building a road to access the construction site.

Our concerns are as follows: 1) Protect the integrity of the Village Square community by keeping the driveway of Village Square a private cul-de-sac.

• Community gatherings take place at the end of the cul-de-sac, alongside the retaining wall that borders the EMU property. • Children use the driveway as a play area.

2) Since a construction access road will be built from Hillcrest across the top of Eastern Mennonite University’s hill, Village Square encourages that the same access road be used for daily maintenance vehicles and equipment, police surveillance and other necessary activities involving the water tank.

• This option seems to be less expensive and less disruptive to all parties affected. • It would seem to be more aesthetically pleasing to have the maintenance road on the back side of the hill rather than in full view of EMU’s campus.

3) Village Square prefers that the pipes needed to connect the water tank to current infrastructure be laid through undeveloped areas as opposed to under our driveway and front yards.

We appreciate the City providing us the opportunity to voice our concerns. Sincerely, Village Square Property Homeowners Association

3 Supports Created
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Christine Edwards over 5 years ago

On the Water Tank Plan: We understand why a new water tank is needed, and the reasons for the site selected. However, the open hilltop at EMU will be a loss! So far it is probably the best open site in town to view the surrounding countryside by day and sky by night. Living nearby for 15 years, we have walked up that hill so many nights to watch, alongside neighbors, for such phenomena as comets, meteor showers, and (only a couple of miles away) New Year and July 4 fireworks. So what we hope for in design, and exact placement, is whatever could minimize impact on the views from, and beauty of, the site. Questions that might be addressed are, does the tank have to be literally “atop” the hill (as the DN-R says) rather than near the top? Must it be another “spaceship-looking structure” (ibid.) like the old one, or some less-obstructive design? And, by the way, what will become of the labyrinth, a lovely, inconspicuous, meditative structure created a few years ago with involvement from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, halfway up the hill and near the Village Square townhouses? The city, EMU and/or neighbors might also consider ways to provide another open, hilltop public space that is as attractive as the future tank site, and to reduce “light pollution” around town that obstructs views of the sky. --Chris Edwards and Robin McNallie, 1081 S. College Ave., Harrisonburgcomment...

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Earl Martin over 5 years ago

comment...

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Earl Martin over 5 years ago

comment...My wife and I often walk over the EMU hill and marvel that this is the one place in Harrisonburg where we have clear view of both the Massanutten Range and the western Blue Ridge mountains. It is so important for a town to preserve these unique scene of loveliness.

A huge water tank at that particular site would destroy this place of serenity and beauty which is now available for all in our town. So I pose some alternative ideas:

1) How about we look hard for an alternative site for the tank which would not be so destructive of a unique setting of beauty.

2) How about we build the tank, not on the very top of the hill, but down a hundred feet. If additional pressure is needed, how about pumping water to the existing tank which would be kept in place.

3) If the tank would be built atop the EMU hill, let's build a safe, circular staircase around the tank and a secure floor and hand rail atop the tank so that it could be used as a unique observation post for this most stunning and awe-inspiring scenery.

I'm sure persons could find reasons to say "no" to all alternatives. I'm hopeful that our town is creative and inventive enough to consider a "yes" to some creative alternatives.

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Robert Williams over 5 years ago

comment... I would like to put in my comments on the water tank. I would like to see it in a unique shape or painted uniquely. Not just a big grey blob. Something to draw attention to it and the city. People would come to see it. Which means they might decide to see something else in the area and spend money. Here is a website showing uniquely painted or shaped tanks. https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=31DOUoOACvC-sQSq1oKwDA&ved=0CD4QsAQ&biw=1280&bih=603&q=unique%20water%20towers That's what I'm talking about. And don't just put the name of the 'burg up big and fancy. Since chicken processing is so big here, make it in the shape of a chicken or at least an egg. Or as an alternative, sell the naming rights like they do on sports arenas and stadiums. For example, sell the naming rights to Coors and they can paint it in the shape of a beer can or just the Coors label. If the rights are sold to someone else, they paint it how they want. Worse comes to worse if the advertiser doesn't pay or decides not to keep paying and no one else is found to buy naming and advertising rights, the money paid by the advertiser would defray the cost of painting over their graphics. I don't know if you could get the advertiser to put down a deposit to pay for painting over their display if they stop and you are unable to find a new advertiser.

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Bonnie Lofton over 5 years ago

A committee has been formed at Eastern Mennonite University -- made up of four individuals from different parts of the university, plus one outside architect -- to explore the possibilities for making this water tower as esthetically pleasing and possibly even desirable -- and then to make recommendations to the city. The concerns raised in the comments previously posted on this webpage are ones that members of this committee share and will work at addressing. We feel optimistic that it is possible to develop a water tower that will be viewed in positive light by EMU, the city, and its immediate neighbors -- both for immediate future and for the distant future, when our descendants will circulate around this water tower and be served by it.

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