Bristol School District Board rejects selling land to village for new water tower

The Bristol School District Board at a meeting Wednesday unanimously rejected the “sale, use or donation” of school property for a new village water tower.

The village is considering the construction of a 500,000-gallon water tower within Utility District 1, which serves the businesses and residences in the area around Bristol School, the industrial park east of Highway 45 and Village Hall. The new tower would be in addition to an already existing 100,000 gallon water tower on the system that the Department of Natural Resources has mandated be repaired by the end of 2022.

The village sought about one acre of land owned by the school district located along Highway AH west of Highway 45. In exchange for the property, the village was proposing including in the water tower project the construction of a large water main along 203rd Avenue that could handle large volumes of water and could be used for fire protection at the school. The main had an estimated cost of $250,000.

Board members and school officials said at Wednesday’s meeting they felt they were being pushed by the village into making a snap decision on the land transfer without getting full information or maybe even at times being misled.

“I’m completely against the water tower on the Bristol School property,” board member Michael Saad said. “There’s been nothing but misinformation.”

District administrator Jack Musha said he was not making a recommendation to the board, which he called rare.

“I wanted to have a discussion with all of you,” Musha said to the board.

Earlier in the meeting, several residents near the proposed water tower site expressed their objection to the school property site, chiefly on grounds of aesthetics affecting quality of life and property resale.

Two village elected officials also spoke at the School Board meeting.

Trustee John McCabe asked the board when they were going to make a decision, since that would affect the village’s next step.

“The quicker you make a decision┬áthe quicker the village can make a decision,” McCabe said.

Trustee Carolyn Owens restated her opposition to the water tower being located at the school site, adding she favors it being located in the Bristol Industrial Park.

The school site “is not the place to put it,” Owens said.

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