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1930s Hallsville water tower set for demolition

By Richard Yeakley
Feb. 19, 2013 at 10 p.m.

The Hallsville City Council on Tuesday approved the demolition of a historical downtown water tower to sell the land to First Baptist Church of Hallsville.

The tower, constructed in the 1930s, was one of the visible landmarks entering Hallsville on U.S. 80, but in recent years the use of the tower has been phased out. The city of Hallsville has three functioning water towers - one at Hallsville Junior High, one on Shawnee Trail and one at Hallsville High School.

"It will be odd with it not being in the background," Mayor Jerri Medrano said.

Monty Pierce, the associate pastor of education and administration at First Baptist Church of Hallsville, said the 35-foot-by-40 foot property sits next to other church property.

The church does not have plans for the property, but wanted to own it for future growth, Pierce said.

First Baptist Church has agreed to pay the $12,700 to remove the water tower from the property.

"It is a very small piece of property, but it has value to us in that it is downtown and connects to what we already have," Pierce said.

Medrano said the city was allowed to cut the deal with First Baptist Church because of its nonprofit status.

Pierce, who has lived in Hallsville for 10 years, said he used the water tower to direct people to his church.

"I would think some people who grew up here have fond memories of it. Although, I have heard some people refer to it as an eyesore," Pierce said.

Medrano, who remembers the tower from her childhood adorned with Hallsville Bobcats decor, said the water tower had grown unsafe and too small for city use.

"We quit using it, and we put the one into effect at the new high school. It would have to have been painted, and it had lead paint so we would have to sand-blast it all off," Medrano said.

To maintain the tower would have cost thousands more dollars, she said.



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