TAMPA — “It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to shine from miles and miles and miles,” said Joseph Citro, a West Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board member.
West Tampa's water tower is a beacon, illuminated at night.
“You’ll be able to see it from the airport. You’ll be able to see it from downtown. You’ll be able to see it from South Tampa.”
The city of Tampa spent more than $60,000 to put up the lights after a 2014 paint touch-up adding a cigar label and a "Bienvenidos West Tampa" greeting
“I think this symbolizes that the time for West Tampa is now,” said City Council Member Guido Maniscalco.
“I’ve seen them putting up the lights, was wondering what it was?” said Elaine Sumner.
Sumner says West Tampa needs other practical upgrades like street lighting and safety improvements.
“We have sidewalks to nowhere because of new constructions in the area,” she said. “These kids get off the buses and they’re just walking down the street with cars coming.”
The lights started in 2018 and illuminate the tower every night like the bridges in downtown Tampa.
Still Sumner says the money is better spent improving her neighborhood on the ground.
“I admit it will look really pretty but it’s not going to help the kids who live around here get home from their bus stop or the kids trying to get home from school,” said Sumner.