State delegate to re-introduce bond bill for water tower restoration

State Del. Shawn Tarrant says he will seek passage of a $300,000 bond bill to restore the Roland Water Tower.

It's the second year in a row that Tarrant, who represents the 40th District, is introducing the bill. Last year's bond bill was for $250,000. It was rejected in a lean economic year, but the buzz in the General Assembly was, "Maybe next year," Tarrant told the Roland Park Civic League on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the tower gets a clean bill of health, with one major exception, in an engineering study the civic league commissioned with a grant from Preservation Maryland.

The eight-sided tower, built in 1904, appears structurally sound, but terra cotta is falling from the top of it and bird skeletons and guano are piled high.

"That in itself is going to be a major part of any work we do," said architect Peter Pearre, who told the league about the study's findings.

A city inspection after the earthquake found the tower to be structurally sound.

The new study was also done after the earthquake, Pearre said.

The league is trying to raise about $900,000 for renovation and $150,000 to install a park around the tower, said league president Phil Spevak.

The league wants to use the old tower as a museum of local history.

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