Bingham Memorial Hospital offers to rescue water towers from being demolished

Blackfoot

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Photos and video: Leslie Sieger | EastIdahoNews.com

BLACKFOOT — Bingham Memorial Hospital stepped up at the special Blackfoot City Council meeting Tuesday night and offered to look at the option of adopting the water towers and save them from being demolished.

There was standing room only in council chambers where members met in a special meeting to give final approval of the FY 2018 budget and to listen to concerns of residents who filled the room to speak about the two water towers.

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City resident and business owner Doni Wixom put forth a plea that the council exhaust all options before making the decision to tear down the towers.

“In four years, 2021, the firehouse tower will be eligible for the historical register,” Wixom said. “I think we are selling ourselves short to not see how these towers play into our small town America. People come here to look at our off road attractions. I think there are so many options. We should exhaust all options.”

Chase VanOrden spoke about the need to keep the towers.

“As Blackfoot slowly began to recede, the water towers are a symbol of hope and life in rural America,” VanOrden said. “If we continue to tear down the landmarks that encourage people to visit, we will lose what we have to offer.”

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Mark Baker, Marketing Director for Bingham Memorial Hospital, told the council that the hospital is willing to look at adopting the towers.

“Bingham Memorial Hospital would be willing to look at adopting the towers and take on the liability,” Baker said. “We need to have a third party come in and give a structural analysis.”

The call for bids to demolish the towers went out on the cities website July 21. The last day to put in a bid for the demolition was Aug. 14.

The council decided to wait 90 days before accepting any bids, and give the hospital time to have a structural analysis done.

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