What’s that water tower?



The watertower on Redstone campus sits on land owned by the city of Burlington, Feb. 22. The tower doubles as an AT&T cell tower.

Emma Burnham, Cynic News Reporter

Looking across UVM’s Redstone campus, the horizon is obstructed by an elevated water tower with metal rods that extend above the top of the tower.

What are they for?

The water tower is accompanied by a cylindrical, brick building and an assortment of cables that extend from the top of the tower to the ground.

As it turns out, this elevated tower doubles as a cell phone tower for AT&T. Both water towers on campus sit on plots of land within the campus that belong to the city of Burlington.

The city has leased the Redstone elevated tower to AT&T as a source of “non-water sales revenue,” according to Steve Roy, an engineer for the city of Burlington’s Water Resources Center.

The city declined to comment on the price AT&T pays for the lease.

The elevated tower was built in 1934 as a replacement for the previous water tank, which is the small, brick building that still stands next to the elevated tank today.

The previous tank now serves as storage for the radio equipment and cellular antennas that are on the elevated tank, Roy said.

Roy said the exterior of the elevated tower will need to be recoated this year as a part of a 10-year contract that the city made with a tank repair company called Suez.

“This year that tank needs to be taken offline in order to be completely sandblasted to bare metal and repair and recoated,” Roy said. “It’s due.”

Suez will be paid by the city of Burlington for these services, Roy said.