Anna water tower to be restored

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune
The tower was most likely silver with black, block letters when it was originally built sometime before 1940.

 The historic Anna water tower at Sherley Heritage Park will be returning to a familiar look.  At least a familiar look to those who have lived in the city for a long time. However, not everyone is happy about the decision. 

In late October, city officials asked residents to vote if the tower should be painted white with “Anna Coyotes” in purple lettering, or painted silver with “Anna” in black, block letters. By a vote of 294 to 257, they chose the silver and black option. 

According to a report delivered to the council earlier this year by historian Elden Baker, the tower was most likely silver with black, block letters when it was originally built sometime before 1940.  

After a brief change during World War II, it was again silver and black from the 1940s through the mid-1970s before being painted green for a spell.  It was once again painted silver and black in the 1980s and maintained that look for nearly two decades. However, in 1998 it was painted white with “Anna Coyotes” in purple.  

This is a look that many residents have grown to love, including councilman Kevin Toten. 

“I know a lot of people are going to be upset over this, but I won’t vote for it unless it’s white with Anna Coyotes,” he said before the City Council voted on the issue Dec. 14. 

Mayor Nate Pike concurred, saying he preferred the white and purple look he has known since he first moved to town. 

Despite the two objections, the other four council members decided to follow the guidance of the resident survey and voted to return the tower to its silver and white look by a margin of four to two. 

At the recommendation of Toten and councilman Stan Carver, city staff indicated they would explore adding “Anna Coyotes” to a different water storage tank in town. Carver suggested pursuing an agreement with Anna ISD to split the costs. 

Work on restoring the downtown water tower is scheduled to begin next year.  Crews will remove multiple coats of paint and capture old lead-based paint that could pose issues if not removed.  They will then refurbish the tower.

The storage tank no longer plays a role in Anna’s water system but adds to the historical elements of the park and neighboring downtown area.