Rare water tower is becoming structurally unsound.

Photo from www.forthjunction.ca The Delburne railway water tower has stood for more than 80 years but is becoming unstable and needs foundation repairs.

Efforts have begun to save a rare and historic water tower in Delburne.

The village’s Anthony Henday Museum Society asked Red Deer County for $7,350 to pay for geotechnical and structural engineering work on the CN Railway tower, which has become unstable.

Council agreed on Tuesday to provide half the funding — $3,675 — and encouraged the society to seek other support locally.

“I agree that half is appropriate and I’d like to some commitment from other parties on this,” said Coun. Don Church.

Mayor Jim Wood proposed going as high as $5,000 but the motion was defeated.

Built in the 1920s or early 1930s, the distinctive octagonal tower once provided water for the steam engines that chugged through the community. It is now only one of two railway water towers still standing in Alberta.

It was moved from its original site to the current location at the museum in the 1980s. However, over time the concrete slab beneath has begun cracking and sinking.

To save the tower, the museum society wants to hire a structural engineer to come up with a plan and design drawings to ensure the tower remains standing for many more years.

Once that project is complete, the society plans to embark on a major effort to restore the water tower. Provincial and federal funding would be sought for that work.

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