Dover Neighborhood Worried about Proposed Water Tower - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Neighborhood Worried about Proposed Water Tower

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - A Kent County neighborhood could be getting a new neighbor. And that neighbor would be about 150 feet tall.

The city of Dover wants to put a water tower behind the Maple Glen subdivision in the northwest part of the city.

The people that live there aren't happy about it. They are worried the water tower will be an eye sore.

The city says it's necessary for Dover's continued growth.

George Gaudioso lives in the Maple Glen Neighborhood.

His favorite painting is Picasso's take on Don Quixote. He has it up in his house.

"I've always had this to remind me that you shouldn't give up on things," he said.

Quixote is a character that defines the notion of pursuing an un unachievable goal. And Quixotic is exactly how Gaudioso sees his push against Dover putting a water tower near his home.

"I've always fought for the things I believe in. Sometimes I win. Sometimes I lose. But I don't acquiesce."

Gauidoso is worried about aesthetics and property values. So he's saying 'not in my backyard,' or at least 'not right behind my backyard.'

"This is an annoyance," he said. "I really feel it's unfair."

He got a letter recently telling him the city wants to put a water tower in an open field currently owned by a nearby Pentecostal church. Dover Water and Wastewater Manager Jason Lyon says it will hold a million gallons and be about 145 feet tall. That is much higher than the trees behind Gaudioso's house.

Lyon says it has been in the works for years as the northwest part of Dover looks to grow.

"It's necessary for fire flow protection," he said. "It's necessary because we're having increased demand within the city. And it's necessary for the betterment of the people in the northwest."

Gaudioso understands that. He still wants the tower somewhere else and wonders why if there's a public need the city doesn't just take a different piece of land.

"I'm not a lawyer. I have to admit that ahead of time. But I always thought that was the intent of eminent domain."

Lyon says the Pentecostal church is willing to sell and other potential site didn't work out.

"I certainly do sympathize with the people who would have this in their backyards. The fact of the matter is it's a site that works within our target zone."

But that's not going to stop Gaudioso from trying to fight city hall. About twenty people showed up at a neighborhood meeting he hosted Monday night to talk about the tower and maybe join Gaudioso in, as he puts it, like Quixote, tilting at windmills.

"Titling at windmills may change them," he said. "In this case, it's tilting at water towers."

The Dover Planning Commission will discuss the proposed tower at its meeting this upcoming Monday night. Gaudioso and many of his neighbors plan to be there.

WBOC reached out to the church selling the land for comment but did not get a response.

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