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New water tower set near park ridge

The city of Hudson's Plan Commission approved final development plans last Thursday for a 750,000-gallon water tower that will stand in the new Weitkamp Park under development on the city's southeast side.

The plans are to locate the 75-foot-tall tower and tank on ridge north of Hanley Road and overlooking Carmichael Road.

The decision to put the tower near the crest of the ridge rather than next to the water treatment plant at the corner of O'Neil and Hanley roads was influenced by the city's Park Board.

Donald Gilbert, chairman of the Park Board and a member of the Plan Commission, said locating the water tower at the crest of the ridge would allow the city to use it as an observation deck if it chose to do so in the future.

"I put a lot of time into this," Gilbert said, adding that he had visited a water storage tank in the state of Washington that is used as an observation deck.

Moving the water tower to the crest of the ridge also shortened the stem of the tower by 36 feet.

Engineer Steve Heth of the Short, Elliott Hendrickson firm said the supporting structure of the new facility will be 25 feet tall. The distance from the ground to the top of the tank will be 75 feet, he said.

The supporting structure will have a block facade in keeping with the theme of Weitkamp Park, Water Utility Director Dennis Christophersen reported. He said the rock-like face of the block would also make a nice interior wall if the tower is ever enclosed and made into an observation deck.

Plan Commission member Bob Bieraugel asked why the observation deck isn't going to be built at the same time as the tower if it is a good idea.

"It's a lot of money," answered fellow commissioner Tim Caruso.

Mayor Jack Breault said that the Americans With Disabilities Act requires equipping the observation deck with an elevator if it is built.

The Public Utility Commission was prepared to review bids on the construction of the water tower at its meeting Monday night. The three bids to be reviewed ranged from $1,187,200 to $1,730,100, according to Jace Holzemer, the water utility's records clerk.

Holzemer said he expected the Public Utility Commission to award a contract and for construction to begin this spring.

Randy Hanson can be reached at

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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