Niles school district offers to contribute to water tower funding

Published 9:54 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

NILES — The Niles Community School District is hoping to share some Viking pride by contributing funds to recoat the Cherry Street water tower with the mascot logo.

Members of the Niles city council first discussed the issue on Feb. 25 and evaluated several options for repainting the tower, which included:

  One color, plain paint job (base), with urethane coat for a total cost of $252,900

• Niles Vikings logo (additional cost of $2,000) for a total price of $254,900

  City of Four Flags logo (additional cost of $6,000) for a total amount of $258,900

In the end, council members decided it would be worthwhile to delay the vote and ask city residents which option they wanted to see on the tower.

While there was some initial speculation that the school was not interested, Dan Applegate, district superintendent, said the education board was excited for the opportunity to help. Applegate met with Mayor Nick Shelton last week to share his support.

“As soon as the school found out that the city was asking for assistance, we were 100 percent onboard,” Applegate said. “We believe in school pride and school community pride. We appreciate the council even considering it because they did not have to. They could have just painted it.”

Applegate said the district has offered to contribute at least $2,000 to the project, which would come from the district’s marketing fund. Applegate said the district is working with city leaders to see if this would be enough of a contribution. If more funding is needed, Applegate noted there has already been some interest in fundraising efforts.

Shelton had posted a poll on Facebook, encouraging community members to vote for their favorite option. He gave an update on poll results during Monday’s city council meeting this week. The unofficial results included 644 votes for the Viking and 373 votes for the Four Flags logo.

Utility board representatives Mike McCauslin, the former Niles mayor, and Dana Daniels, who also serves on the board of education, said Monday that they wished to propose that the city include both logos on the water tower.

Shelton said they would have to review the suggestion with contractors to see if it was a viable option.

Niles city council members are expected to vote on the issue during their next city council meeting which will take place at 6 p.m. Monday at the Niles Fire Station Complex, 1345 E. Main St.

Applegate said to students and residents in the Niles district, seeing the Viking on the water tower would mean a lot.

“I think it’s about pride in the school community,” Applegate said. “There is a lot of community pride and school pride and we want to promote that.”