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Historic Chico Water Towers Saved

Cal Water announces preservation, with help from the Chico Heritage Association.

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 1:15 PM

There is good news for those who want the historic Chico Water Towers saved.

California Water Service announced Wednesday that after extensive research and consultation with historic preservation experts, it will preserve and maintain the two elevated tanks listed on Chico's historic registry.

They now-empty tanks are at East 3rd and Orient Streets, and were built in 1905 and 1913.

"As a regulated water utility, we cannot ask our ratepayers to fund infrastructure that is no longer used. However, understanding the significance of these tanks to Chico residents, we worked with the Chico Heritage Association to find a way to preserve the two oldest tanks, which we will do at our own cost," said District Manager George Barber.

Barber is also thanking the Chico Heritage Association for it's "diligence" in helping to identify cost-saving measures that will allow Cal Water to retain the tanks.

The company is also making a $5,000 donation through its philanthropic giving program to the Heritage Association, to pay for the professional documentation and recording of the newer tanks.

CSU, Chico History professor and Assocication member Mike Migliari said, "We at Chico Heritage commend Cal Water for recognizing the historical significance of the Orient Street water towers and for their willingness to carefully consider various strategies for preserving these iconic landmarks that are so highly prized by the people of Chico. Cal Water's decision to invest in Chico's history should be welcomed by the entire community."

Cal Water will host a community celebration this fall to commemorate the tanks, details will be released in the near future.

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