Group leading effort to save Seminole water tower

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017, 11:34 AM EDT

Some in the Tampa Bay-area community are fighting to keep a landmark, the Seminole water tower, from being demolished.

  • Future of Seminole water tower hangs in the balance
  • Water tower out of service since 2012
  • County wants to demolish tower but may lease it to Seminole

The water tower was taken out of service in 2012, and the county had planned to demolish it. But now, Pinellas County is discussing the possibility of leasing it to the city.

At 110 feet tall, the old Seminole water tower can be seen for miles.

“It’s something that’s taken on great value to this community as a landmark, as a navigation point. Our kids have all grown up with it,” resident Jeff Etter said.

The group spearheading the effort to save the water tower has gathered almost 900 signatures on a petition and passed out signs to supporters.

Their efforts seem to be paying off: The county has put an offer on the table for the city of Seminole to take over.

“We now have the opportunity to lease it for $1 plus take over maintenance and take over the care of the tower,” Seminole City Council member Thom Barnhorn said.

The county estimates those costs to be about $14,000 a year. However, Barnhorn thinks an independent study could bring that number down.

Etter said he plans to start a nonprofit to help pay the bills.

“The community does get active and does get involved when they see something of significant importance to them,” he said.

Without an agreement to take over the water tower, the county plans to move forward with demolition beginning July 24.