CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — Officials in a northern Iowa city have decided to tear down a 500,000-gallon lakefront water tower that has loomed over the downtown area for 64 years.

The Clear Lake City Council recently accepted a nearly $36,000 bid from Michigan firm Iseler Contracting to demolish the tower, which was drained in April. Breaking down the roughly 150-foot-tall tower was estimated to cost $64,500.

The tower's exterior lead-based paint is peeling, and the city decided it was more cost-effective to tear down the tower instead of sandblasting and repainting it, which would have cost $500,000.

Work is expected to begin in February and will be completed in May. Cedar Lake officials said it will take several days to cut the tower into sections and have it lifted by a crane.

The removal of the footings and piping will take longer. There are 10 concrete footings that are 9 feet deep.

The city's second tower, built in 2009, holds 1 million gallons. It cost approximately $2.5 million. — AP

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