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INDIAN LAND – After months of discussion between residents and county officials, Mary Ann Brainard expected to see her community’s name in big letters on a water tower near her Indian Land home.
Instead, she says the freshly painted words “Indian Land” are barely visible.
The tower, near her Legacy Park neighborhood, was recently painted to include the initials for the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District in big blue letters on two sides.
However, the words “Indian Land” were painted in much smaller script on just one side of the tower.
“Oh come on, couldn’t we make it a little bigger, just so people know where they are?” Brainard said.
“If you’re gonna do it, don’t just squeeze it in between the bigger letters of the water company.”
Brainard said she was surprised that after all the debates over which words should be emblazoned on the sides of the tank, motorists won’t be able to see the community’s name from the road. She hoped the water tower would help establish the community’s identity.
“In Indian Land, we’re up here in the Panhandle and sometimes we feel a little out of the loop in terms of Lancaster County, even though we’re a big area with lots of residents,” Brainard said.
Bennett Gunter, who also lives in Indian Land, said he has no qualms with the actual water tank, but with the lettering. He said he’d have preferred to see larger lettering and possibly the name of a local sports team, much like other tanks in the state.
“What we got was an absolute slam in the face,” Gunter said. “We’re supposed to be ‘proud and progressive.’ We need something that positively represented the location of the tank. It’s an absolute slam and a disgrace.”
David Freeman has one word for the new lettering – “cheesy.”
Freeman, who led a petition drive that garnered close to 1,400 signatures asking for some kind of identifier on the tower such as “Indian Land” or “Home of the Warriors,” said he expected more from the county water district.
“I was disappointed,” Freeman said. “Me and my wife couldn’t even tell what it said. When they said they were going to do it, I thought at least you could see it.”
Freeman is glad the community’s name was included, but thinks more could have been done.
“They done that just to pacify everyone,” Freeman said. “People are laughing at this because everybody thought we had got something done.”
Freeman said he started the petition because so many neighbors had asked that something be done to easily distinguish Indian Land from surrounding areas, such as south Charlotte, Ballantyne or Fort Mill.
The LCWSD board voted to include Indian Land in the tower’s paint design.
Mark Knight, manager of the Lancaster County Water and Sewer District, said the water and sewer district would pay for the painting, which would be done as part of each tower’s regular upkeep.
In response to the complaints, Knight said the new lettering is incorrect.
He said Caldwell Tank Co., which built the water tower, subcontracted the painting to another company, which was supposed to sketch out the words for approval before painting.
Instead, he said the company painted the words before the LCWSD had a chance to review the design. Because the lettering is too small, it will have to be redone.
“Mistakes happen, but we want to get it corrected,” Knight said. “Obviously with the size of it now, it’s not eye-catching because you can’t see it.”
Knight said it could take a few weeks to paint over the incorrect design and then draw it on a larger scale.
“I want it to be larger, large enough to be seen,” Knight said. “The intent was to have it large enough to distinguish the letters, using cursive and angling it so it wouldn’t run into our logo.”
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 nearby.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at email@example.com or (803) 416-8416