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The leaning tower of ... corn?

January 17, 2006|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - It is not in the same league as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but a leaning tower of corn in Peters Township has been attracting its share of gawkers and posing a problem for its owners.

"We've had a few tourists come around. It's not something you see every day," Tim Stoner, president of Stoner's Hijos Hill Inc., said of the tilted silo along Oellig Road. The blue steel structure is visibly several degrees out of kilter with the silos that flank it.

"More or less we're waiting for it to fall over," Stoner said Monday. "We're looking into bringing it down somehow, but we haven't gotten a clear answer on how to do that safely.

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"It's been that way since Thanksgiving," Stoner said of the silo, which was built 25 to 30 years ago. The silo is buckling at its base, possibly from an air pocket inside causing unequal pressure against the cylindrical wall, he said.

The precariously positioned structure is posing a weighty problem, said Stoner, whose family corporation owns the farm.

"It's plum full of corn," said Stoner, who estimated there are approximately 1,000 tons of corn - about 30,000 bushels - in the silo. Early efforts to unload the contents increased the tilt, he said.

Stoner said he has talked with a dealer for the manufacturer about how to bring the silo down, but a solution has yet to be reached.

Oellig Road is blocked off just north of the Renninger Road intersection, but Stoner said township officials and neighbors have been patient.

"We're kind of lucky. We're about the only people on that road," he said.

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