MUSCATINE, Iowa–After almost a year of planning and hard work, Muscatine Power and Water celebrated the completion of their water tower’s new wrap with a dedication ceremony Aug. 17. At the 2019 state fair, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that the Iowa Finance Authority would hold the It’s In the Water Contest to select a city to receive a new custom water tower wrap. Interested cities submitted videos highlighting the importance of water to their community, and people all over the world voted on their favorite.
Muscatine won the competition and received a wrap designed by Muscatine native Laura Palmer, the daughter of the water tower’s original painter. Palmer took suggestions from the community to help her create the final design, which MP&W had placed on the water tower in June and July.
Muscatine Power and Water General Manager Gauge Houston welcomed people to the celebration, honoring what he described as the, “pride of Muscatine for years to come.” He thanked the many people who helped make the project a success, including Musco Lighting, who will install a custom lighting array around the water tower to help showcase it at night.
Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham then spoke, sharing her pride in getting to support local communities and Palmer’s women owned business through the It’s In the Water contest. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon also took the time to celebrate the project and how it highlights the efforts of the department to improve and maintain the quality of water across the state.
After all of her hard work designing the new wrap, Laura Palmer shared her inspiration for the designs it features. Elated to reinvent the water tower her father first painted, Palmer took the time to develop symbols to adorn it with that embodied both to the community’s history and her own. “These icons speak to my experience of Muscatine,” she emphasized, explaining how the pearl buttons remind her of her family history, the pennant brings to mind her time at Muscatine High School and the years she played on their basketball team, and how the bridge always makes her think of coming home.
To round out the ceremony, Mayor Diana Broderson and Muscatine Power and Water Director of Customer and Technology Experience Erika Cox shared their delight in both Palmer’s design and the role of the water tower in the community. As Broderson put it the water tower now has, “our heritage and all we hold dear is now up there for the world to see.”