The Moser Tower Debate Continues

With the fate of Moser Tower still to be decided, over a dozen members of the public came out to defend it at the latest Riverwalk Commission meeting.

“The Carillon has now been in place for 17 years and during that time it has become an icon for the city,” said Frank Slocumb, a Naperville resident.

Many who spoke were those who had helped to fund and build the tower, including former Naperville Mayor Peg Price.

“I don’t want to see it come down, we worked too hard to get that thing up and I can’t believe that this city would not be willing to maintain it,” said Price.

The maintenance is needed due to corrosion of the concrete and steel supports, with a bill of up to $3.8 million. Without these repairs, it would eventually need to be decommissioned.

The high repair bill for a 17-year-old structure that costs $7.1 million to build has some residents unsure about the value of preserving it.

“If we spend money on the Carillon the fact is we have to give something else up,” said Naperville resident Jim Hill.

And a recent Riverwalk survey indicates that the tower isn’t a high priority for residents, with its preservation ranking last in the category of potential Riverwalk investments.

But a company specializing in corrosion prevention has come forward with a potential solution in cathodic protection, which uses an electrical current to redirect corrosion to disposable metal, rather than the structure.

“The hope is that this will give us another alternative that would be less costly than the other two we’re looking at,” said Bill Novack, Director of Transportation, Engineering, and Development of the City of Naperville. “The other hope is that it will protect the structure in the future too so maintenance costs can be reduced.”

A cathodic protection company will need to assess the tower before the commission will know if it’s a viable choice.

The Riverwalk commission hopes to make a recommendation in August, after which city council will have the final say.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.

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