Bingham Memorial Hospital buys Blackfoot water towers for $1


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BLACKFOOT – Bingham Memorial Hospital will ask the citizens of Blackfoot and surrounding areas to help design the new look of one of the water towers it recently purchased from the city of Blackfoot.

On Tuesday night, the city council agreed to sell the water towers, one on Walker Street and the other at 255 West Idaho Street, to the hospital for the sum of $1.

“We asked other communities if they wanted to buy the towers,” Councilman Chris Jensen said Tuesday. “Nobody wanted them. They have no (sellable) value.”

In July, the council members put out a call for bids to demolish the towers. During the August City Council meeting Bingham Memorial stepped up to save the towers.

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

BMH commissioned a structural analysis by the firm Harper Leavitt Engineering. The firm determined the water towers are structurally sound and are not at risk of structural failure. In addition, because Blackfoot is in a high-desert environment with low humidity and a noncorrosive atmosphere, the towers will continue to safely serve as historical landmarks for many years to come.

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“Because of its proximity to our hospital campus, we plan to paint the north tower green and refresh the wording to say, ‘Welcome to the City of Blackfoot,’ on one side and ‘Welcome to Bingham Memorial Hospital’ on the side that faces the hospital campus,” Bingham Memorial CEO Jake Erickson said in a news release. “For the large, south tower, we want the community to help us decide how it should look.”

BMH plans to launch a website after the holidays, for people to submit their ideas. A panel will narrow down the submissions to three choices for the public to make the final choice.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to come together and create something really amazing,” Erickson said. “Blackfoot is the headquarters for Bingham Healthcare and this community has supported our growth throughout the years. We believe Blackfoot is a great place to live, work, and play just like we know that Blackfoot is a place for world-class healthcare. And we believe that with the community’s help we can create a world-famous landmark for travelers to enjoy from all over the world.”