Residents hold rally supporting dreams of town name on local water tower -- Gazette.Net


Victor Furnells wants the local water tower to display the town name and high school logo — and in less than a week, he’ll have the opportunity to show how much of the community shares his vision.

Damascus High School will host members of the community, and potentially the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, in a pep rally at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 designed to support the local effort to get the town name and school’s hornet logo painted on the tower.

Del. Eric Luedtke of Burtonsville, a member of the 14th district supporting work on the tower, is expected to attend the community pep rally.

The WSSC handles water tower maintenance, including repainting. There are no plans for several years to repaint the town’s tower, regardless of whether or not they agree to include the name or mascot.

Furnells hopes he will be able to take WSSC representatives on a tour of the area, bring them to the pep rally and hold a meeting afterward to further explain the project and present plans and other materials.

“We want to let them see for themselves how the water tower is basically an icon in the Damascus community,” Furnells said. “It sits in the middle of town and everyone can see it.”

Only two water towers under WSSC jurisdiction currently have painted names or symbols; a tower in Accokeek had the name painted during the tower’s installation, and a tower at Joint Base Andrews has the names and symbols of the armed forces.

The WSSC had previously dismissed the chances of allowing the Damascus Hornets logo, citing the lack of precedent in the area and the potential for more communities to ask for the same.

However, Furnells and Rob Hyman, a Damascus High School math teacher also leading the effort, believe that Damascus is a special case for two reasons: the high school celebrated its centennial anniversary a year and a half ago and the town’s bicentennial is coming up in 2016 — the earliest likely year for the painting to occur.

“If those aren’t two good enough reasons to consider putting the logo on there, then I give up,” Furnells said.

Damascus High School is located at 25921 Ridge Road.