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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Olmsted County Board voted today to approve a contract for the demolition of the former Seneca Foods canning plant and the restoration of the famous "ear of corn" water tower at the site.

The contract was awarded to Rachel Contracting, which submitted a bid totaling just under $1.1 million for the work. A detailed schedule for the demolition of the canning plant and the water tower restoration has not been finalized but the county has stated it would like the demolition to be completed by the end of next June.

The county requested bids for the demolition of the canning plant after a consultant determined the structure, which was built in 1925, would likely not be eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The consultant did find the "ear of corn" water tower, erected in 1931, would likely be eligible for a place on the National Register which led to the decision to preserve and restore it.

The Seneca property is adjacent to the county's Graham Park, which was formerly known as the County Fairgrounds. The land now occupied by the canning plant will be restored to green space pending future development of the property as part of Olmsted Counties plans to "revitalize and transform" Graham Park into more of a regional destination.

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