With a few keystrokes, Rock Hill’s newest water tower can turn into the city’s newest photo opportunity.
City leaders flicked on the switch Wednesday night to a collection of LED lights, bringing color to the water tower that stands next to Laurelwood Cemetery. Lights from nearby poles beam onto the surface of the $4 million water tower, and can change color.
The colors can be manipulated by using a laptop computer, according to David Vehaun, Rock Hill’s city manager.
Vehaun said the lights should be on every night from now on, and city leaders will begin testing color combinations over the next couple of weeks. Vehaun said there are hundreds of possible color combinations.
The current water tower replaced a smaller one at the corner of West Main and Laurel streets, not far from downtown and Knowledge Park.
The water tower is adorned on four sides with a swirling, blue city of Rock Hill logo.
Three years ago, Vehaun told the Rock Hill City Council the water tower would be an attraction – “the kind of thing people will show their friends and neighbors when they come to Rock Hill.”
Deputy City Manager Jimmy Bagley said, “We wanted it to be more modern, more colorful. We’re not sure if we’re going to have it lit up every night yet, we’re still working on a schedule.”
Most of the money for the 750,000-gallon water tank came from a 20-year, $4 million loan from the State Revolving Loan Fund, which helps cities complete major utility improvements. The interest rate was less than 2 percent, Vehaun said. The special lights cost $91,147 and came from the city’s hospitality tax fund, he said.
Paragon Productions of Rock Hill completed the hook-up, which took place overnight on Wednesday, Vehaun said.
It’s possible the city could choose to change the color of the lights around holidays or special occasions. For example, the color green could be used for St. Patrick’s Day or red, white and blue could be used for the Fourth of July.
The setup is effectively the same for the tree-like decorations that sit across from the newly-renovated Fountain Park fountain.