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Indian Land tower about to get do-over

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By Chris Sardelli

INDIAN LAND - The Lancaster County Water and Sewer District is hoping the second time will be the charm for the lettering on its new Indian Land water tower.

The tower near Indian Land High School was recently painted to include the initials for the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District in big blue letters on two sides.

But the words “Indian Land” were painted in much smaller script on just one side of the tower, and many residents complained they couldn’t see the words from the road. Within the next two weeks, the LCWSD hopes to repaint that portion of the tower, this time with larger words.

“The lettering was too small,” said Mark Knight, director of the LCWSD. “It will basically be the same font (type face), but will be much bigger and bolder.”

The original intent, he said, was to have the community’s name painted large enough to be seen from the road, using cursive writing and angling it so it wouldn’t run into the LCWSD logo.

Knight said it was difficult to determine how the mistake was made, but with so many people involved, it was most likely due to the “several different levels of communication here.”

He said LCWSD hired Coldwell Tank Co. to construct the water tower, which, in turn, had subcontracted the painting to another company. Knight said that company was supposed to draw a rendering of the words for approval, but instead painted the words before the LCWSD could review the design.

“They were supposed to lay it out and then let me look at it before they painted it. That’s what they were supposed to do,” Knight said. “But, somehow, there was a miscommunication before we could even look at it or approve it.

“By the time he (the painter) realized not to paint it, he already had the paint mixed and had painted some of it. So, he continued to paint it. I really wish he hadn’t,” he said.

Clyde Allen worries the mistake will harm his painting company’s reputation.

Allen, who helped supervise the painting of the community name on the water tower, said his company did what they were told and did not make the mistake.

He said the LCWSD told them what design they wanted, and his company had the $300 template made. He said it took the LCWSD two weeks to decide to put the sign up.

“We spent a lot of money to get those templates made,” Allen said. “They OK’d the templates.

“I told them before we put it up there that it was too small,” he said. “But they approved it.”

Allen said one original design for the tower would’ve been much larger. It would have retained the initials of the water company, but also included the company’s Web site and full name spelled out.

“I just want everyone to know, it’s not the painter’s fault. We did what we were told. They signed off on it,” he said. “We like the area, we like the people. We don’t want them to think we’re total idiots.”

Knight expects the repainting will begin within the next two weeks, depending on the weather. He said the contractor will pay for the repainting costs.

“We hope to get it on this week, but it depends on all the rain,” he said.

This isn’t the first time controversy has surrounded the water tank. Residents were initially concerned about the safety of the 1-million-gallon elevated storage tank because of its proximity to the elementary and middle schools. Then, once construction got under way, it was labeled a “landmark wart” by Scott Bruntmyer, who lives in the Lakeview Landing neighborhood, which has a clear view of the tower.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416