The water tower in Rocky Mountain House will soon go the way of most old-style Prairie grain elevators.
The Town of Rocky decided to pull down the tall structure after receiving notice from Alberta Health Services that it’s an obstruction to the recently constructed heliport for the town’s health-care centre.
In order to open the heliport for use, the town would either have to paint the tower in a orange-and-white checkerboard pattern to make it more visible, as per Transport Canada regulations, or remove it.
Although the decommissioned tower is only used to house the communications infrastructure for the town, as well as Rocky fire department and Clearwater County, it has become a local landmark.
Rocky Town Council, therefore, considered painting it or moving it to another location, but found the cost of either alternative prohibitive.
Although no timeline was given for the tower’s destruction, council stated in a release, “it’s in the regional communities’ best interest to remove the tower as expediently as possible” as the heliport is needed to get severely sick or injured Central Albertans to hospitals for treatment in Calgary or Edmonton.
Town council, which is reviewing other unconfirmed obstructions, plans to discuss the possibility of creating another community landmark in the near future.