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Neighbors upset over planned water tower in Temple

Northcliffe water tower.JPG
Posted at 8:28 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 23:18:26-04

TEMPLE, TX — A neighborhood raised some concern after a planned water tower is set to be built.

The thickly-settled development said that they were blindsided by the project.

Northcliffe water tower 3.JPG

“We knew there was an empty lot. Had no idea in any way shape or form that a 16-story water tower would be going in across the street,” said Kevin Koonce, a homeowner in the Northcliffe neighborhood.

His property is across from the planned water tower.

“It couldn’t be so, with no postings no notice no anything, it was just really hard to believe that without anyone having any clue that it’s going to start less than a month from when we found out,” said Chris Flor, a homeowner.

The Northcliffe neighborhood straddles Belton and Temple. The families we spoke to say they are worried about both their property values, and their children’s safety.

“I don’t know that it’s necessarily about the change in the skyline, I think it’s really about the base and the footprint of what this thing’s going to look like. It’s going to be an acre right here. That’s basically either hard rock or concrete with chain linked fence and barbed wire on top in a residential neighborhood with all kinds of kids running around,” said Flor.

We talked to the city’s public works department, they said that the plan was not a secret.

The project was first mentioned back in October in a city council agenda. They confirmed that the city council approved the acquisition of the site back in April.

Northcliffe water tower

“They called it the Pepper Creek elevated water storage tower. Which Pepper Creek is way down the road, it’s nowhere near here and then they used it as a consent agenda item which is supposed to be for routine and non-controversial items. Well that doesn’t fit either of these. A consent agenda should not be for a water tower right off the front door of a lot of folks,” said Koonce.

The city says that the project is a critical step in ensuring the proper water capacity and pressure for homeowners. It will also be critical for firefighting emergencies.

Neighbors we spoke to say that they aren’t opposed to the water tower, but simply its location.