Towering Collinsville ketchup bottle gets new owner

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A towering ketchup bottle and familiar southwestern Illinois roadside symbol has a new owner.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that O’Fallon construction company owner Franklin Bieri bought the 170-foot-tall, onetime Collinsville water tower billed as the “World’s Largest Bottle of Catsup.”

The National Register of Historic Places landmark replicates a bottle of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was produced in a nearby building more than a half-century ago.

Bieri owns Mississippi River Construction Co. He was sentenced to five months in prison and three months of home confinement in 2013 for violating the federal Clean Air Act over improper handling of asbestos at a Washington Park demolition site.

Former owner Larry Eckert said that the buyer’s criminal background wasn’t relevant to the sale. Bieri declined comment.