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Clear Lake council action thwarts man's proposal to turn old water tower into private home

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CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — The Clear Lake City Council has taken another step toward tearing down an old water tower, thwarting a resident's proposal to turn it into a home.

Aldin Stecker told the council Monday night about his plans for the 250,000-gallon tower and said he wanted to be a good neighbor to people who lived near it in the Four Winds neighborhood.

Some neighbors had shared their concerns about how turning the tower into a home would affect their property values or how it might attract gawkers who would stall local traffic. They also worried how fire and police would respond to an emergency at the tower that's 150 feet tall.

The council ultimately voted 3-1 to hire an engineering firm for design and other services involved in the tower's demolition, the Mason City Globe Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/ZQ21Dz ). Councilman Jim Boehnke cast the dissenting vote and had asked other members to delay the issue so a survey could be conducted to see what Clear Lake residents wanted done with the tower.

The replacement water tower can hold a million gallons and is expected to be completed this fall.

Tearing down the existing structure will involve removing its concrete foundation and deconstructing its tank and legs. Demolition bids are expected to be requested in January. Officials want the process of knocking down the tower to start in February.

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