ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Fears that Rochester’s iconic “Corn Water Tower” might be torn down can be put to rest–Olmsted County has agreed to purchase the water tower and all nearby property from Seneca Foods.
The agreement was announced by county officials Friday afternoon.
The county is poised to buy about 11 acres of land belonging to Seneca Foods, which currently operates a vegetable canning operation there next to Graham Park, known to oldtimers as the county fairgrounds.
Debra Ehret Miller, Olmsted County’s Director of Policy, Analysis and Communications, said the purchase price will be $5.6 million. Miller said it’s unclear when the property deal could close.
Though not expressly promising to save the unique corn water tower, county officials are indicating they will work with the City of Rochester to preserve it.
The Graham Park site has been targeted by the Destination Medical Center Corporation as one of the “mobility hub” locations that may become a focal point for transportation systems. Planners have also been considering ways to use the fairgrounds/Graham Arena site for affordable housing projects and retail development.
The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners will vote on a final purchase agreement with Seneca Foods at its February 19th meeting.
The flip side of the announcement is what will happen to the Seneca Foods canning operation in Rochester–Miller said she had no information about that, or if the jobs associated with the food packaging plant are in jeopardy.