A tower of controversy in Keizer

A tower of controversy in Keizer

KEIZER, Ore. - Some call it an eyesore. Others call it quaint.

Regardless of your opinion, if you drive on Interstate 5 past here, you can't miss it.

A new 10-story, 500,000-gallon city water tower is getting so much attention that city leaders have called a public hearing on Monday.

Because Keizer does not have hills to put a water tank on, the city chose the standing tower so gravity - rather than an electric pump - can draw out the water.

"It's just like a big, green blob in the middle of a field," said Keizer resident Courtney Hill.

Keizer's Mayor, Lore Christopher, said the tower has drawn more feedback than any city issue on her watch.

Letters have poured in from residents who want to see the tower painted with a motif, even though the city never considered anything beyond basic blue.

"Originally it was, 'What is it?'" Christopher said. "Now it's, 'What are you going to put on it?"

Ideas submitted by residents include a gumball machine, a gay pride rainbow, and irises - since Keizer is the iris capitol of the world. One proposed drawing is pictured below.

"I like that it puts us on the map," the mayor said. "If we can put something on it that will extend those marketing efforts to advertise the things that are great about Keizer, yahoo!"

Some residents even see the water tower as quaint.

"Kind of a little bit of nostalgia, and a little bit of, like, oh we are a small town," said Keizer resident Sharon Allen. "That's kind of cool. We don't have to have this huge underground reservoir thing. We just have a little water tower."