The Hillsdale water tower has a new paint job, but not everyone is pleased with the makeover.

The Hillsdale water tower received a new paintjob earlier this month. Facebook

Former Board of Public Util­ities director Mike Barber said the tower hadn’t been painted since 1997. Ren­o­vating it required sand­blasting, both inside and out, and recoating it with a special epoxy paint.

In June, the city council unan­i­mously voted to approve two bids for pre­ven­tative main­te­nance and painting for the South Street water tower.

Seven Brothers Painting Inc. sub­mitted the lowest bid, agreeing to com­plete the paint job for $266,400. The job was com­pleted earlier this month.

Debate over the restoration began in early October when res­i­dents first voiced com­plaints, saying the money put toward its ren­o­vation should have gone to areas of greater need.

“We can’t pave the roads or sealcoat West Street, because it’s too cold, but we can paint a water tower,” Hillsdale res­ident Chad Ha said in a Facebook post.

Others agreed, claiming the city council cared more about the outward appearance of a water tower than they did the con­ve­nience and safety of roads.

Local Michael Mitchell said on Facebook that repainting the water tower is a main­te­nance item and it helps prevent cor­rosion.

“Clean safe drinking water is more important than roads, ask Flint or Toledo how things go when you can’t drink or shower,” said Rob Cooley, another res­ident.

After the tower had been painted, res­i­dents ques­tioned the look of the its new design. Hillsdale res­ident Penny Swan said the new colors do not match any­thing else in the city.

“The council approved the painting of the tower but not the colors,” she said in a post on Facebook.

Swan told The Col­legian that the water tower should match the entrance signs and other Hillsdale ensignia.

“I feel it was a bad choice and decision, because it matches nothing else in the city,” she said.