Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A hard-to-miss feature of the skyline in the south half of Rochester is among the properties listed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of the Rochester City Council with a recommendation they be designated as Potential Landmark Properties under the city’s Heritage Preservation Ordinance.

The inclusion of the “corn cob” water tower on the Seneca Foods canning plant property near Graham Park is backed by dozens of letters of support addressed to the city and active social media campaigns, but it’s being opposed by the company that owns the property. Seneca has already closed the canning operation at the site and is currently marketing the land and building but the presence of the iconic water tower has hampered those efforts.

Seneca’s legal adviser sent a letter to city officials this past Wednesday that proposes Seneca donate the water tower to the city, which would be given “a reasonable time frame” to remove it. The letter says this would allow the city to preserve the tower and improve Seneca’s chances of finding another business interested in developing the property and replacing the jobs lost because of the closing of the cannery. The letter says, “Perhaps an ideal location is right around the corner at the County Fairgrounds.“

The legal adviser for Seneca is requesting the city council table the Landmark Property designation vote for the water tower and direct city administration to work out an agreement that would transfer ownership of it within 30 days.

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