MOORHEAD — Carrie Lee Kinslow said if there's any theme to what Moorhead residents want to see on their water towers it is often something related to nature.
As the facilitator helping the Moorhead Public Service select a design for a new tower that is going up in south Moorhead this spring, Kinslow said about 30 residents at a public input forum Monday, Feb. 4, seemed to want a simple nature-related theme for art on the tower.
"Trees, rivers, recreation — things that draw people to Moorhead and Minnesota always seem to pop up," said the artist and educator about the public input so far.
Those in the neighborhood and other city residents who weren't able to attend the public forum, can still provide input at the website https://bit.ly/2QNWk2M in the next few weeks by answering four survey questions.
Kinslow said a 10-member committee will then start work on selecting a final design for the tower at 4255 28th St. S., which is south of Village Green Golf Course near the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd.
A fourth water tower is needed as Moorhead continues to grow, and it will come online in 2020; that same year, the city's Interstate 94 tower undergoes needed repairs that year. The Oakport tower was painted with an artistic design in 2017. MPS repaints the towers every 20 years as part of a maintenance plan.
Kinslow said the beauty of the water tower art project is that "there is a process" in which residents can participate in the design as Moorhead works on improving public artwork around the city.
She said city officials were happy with the design for the water tower that stands in Woodlawn Park near the Red River that the two artists who worked on last summer's project will serve on the design committee and create the final design picked by the committee for the new south side water tower.
The local graphic artists are Stephen Dorsey and Jack Lunde.
The design on the Woodlawn tower won third place in a national contest and included a variety of local historical landmarks on the tower, including the Norwegian heritage Stave Church and the Veterans Memorial Bridge, as well as nature elements of trees and water and recreational theme displays of canoeing and fishing. "It was a big project," said Kinslow.
City officials and community members will also serve on the final design committee. Last year's design effort cost about $26,000 and took 10 weeks to complete as a huge cover blanketed the tower for much of the summer.
The artwork probably only added about $10,000 to the painting cost, according to MPS water division manager Kris Knutson. He said a budget for this year's project hasn't been determined, but will only be a small part of the $2.65 million it will cost to construct the water tower.
Knutson said the project is needed not only because of growth, but to enhance the water distribution pressure on the southside of the city and provide additional fire protection.