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After the Fire: Anamosa Water Tower Nearly Complete

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ANAMOSA, Iowa — Crews are adding the finishing touches to a new water tower in Anamosa.

The city realized it needed an upgrade after a devastating fire.

McOtto’s Restaurant caught fire in November 2010. The damage was extensive, gutting the entire restaurant.

As firefighters hosed down the flames, water pressure drastically dropped on the east side of town.

Danneman said the day of the fire is one he doesn’t want to remember.

“I didn’t believe it,” said Owner of McOtto’s John Danneman while thinking back to the fire.

Now, however, that day is in the past. Operations at the restaurant have been back to normal for some time. Everything was rebuilt, brand new.

“We had two-seat booths we never had, we have six-seat booths we never had,” Danneman said.

Just outside of the restaurant’s windows, you’ll see something else new: the water tower.

“Probably within the week we will have the water tower in operation,” said Anamosa City Administrator Alan Johnson.

The city pushed to get the 250,000 gallon tower up after that massive fire.

“It put such a strain on the east side of the community that many businesses and the hospital is in that area as well as major businesses and residential homes that we got quite concerned that we needed to loop the system and have more water storage available,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the system couldn’t handle the stress from that fire.

“If there had been another fire event at the same time or some other type of emergency that required an abundance of water, we would not at that time have been able to serve it,” Johnson said.

After spending more than $900,000 for the water tower, the city believes it has solved the problem.

John is just glad he’s able to continue serving the restaurant’s popular pizzas and tenderloins.

Anamosa received a low-interest loan from the state. The city said residents are seeing gradual increases on their water bills to repay that.

l Comments: 319-398-8268;

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