Old Millstadt water tower restoration coming soon

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After almost nine years since the organization was formed, the Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower has signed a contract for exterior painting of the old Millstadt water tower in the heart of town.

The Millstadt Village Board passed a resolution of support for this project at its Dec. 13 meeting.
Work on the project will begin sometime in 2022. In keeping with the original colors of the tower, the exterior will be painted silver/gray with the Millstadt logo in black.

Sometime later, the interior of the tank will need to be sandblasted and painted.

Maguire Iron of South Dakota, one of the top elevated tower painting companies in the country, will perform the work. The company offered terms of 50 percent at time of completion, with the balance due 12 months later.

Maguire representative Darin Clarke visited the tower in July and has been helping finalize details of the contract.

“He has been very helpful to our organization. We’ve learned a lot about the restoration process,” Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower President Betty Keller Timmer said.

COVID-19 has slowed fundraising efforts for this project. The Friends were able to sponsor their Tin Man Half Marathon/5K races in May, and a Rally Around the Tower Car Show four months later. Indoor activities were put on hold.

The Friends are currently planning a bowling fundraiser for Jan. 29 at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville, followed by a trivia night/silent auction scheduled for March 19 at St. James Parish Center in Millstadt.

The Half Marathon/5K races will be held May 22.

The Friends have received several donations, including a Preservation Heritage Fund Grant from Landmarks Illinois from $5,000 in January 2021, and a matching donation from the Millstadt Historical Society in March.

Individuals also donated more than $59,000 in 2021.

In October, the St. Clair County Historical Society presented a 2021 Historic Site Award to the tower, which will be displayed after restoration is complete.

The Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower is a 501(C)3 charity. Donations may be made by sending checks payable to Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower to P.O. Box 335, Millstadt, IL 62260.

Online donations may be made at millstadtwatertower.org.

“We’ve come a long way in reaching our goal, which now is $280,000 for the exterior. We are currently at $257,000. We will need at least another $50,000 to finish the interior, but we have a little time to get there,” Timmer said. “We appreciate everyone’s support, and look forward to finishing the job and keeping the Tin Man on the Millstadt horizon for many more years.”

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