CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) -

Clear Lake officials have decided to tear down a 500,000-gallon lakefront water tower that has loomed over the city's downtown for 64 years.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports the Clear Lake City Council accepted a bid from Michigan firm Iseler Contracting to demolish the tower. Work is expected to begin in February and will be completed in May.

City officials say it will take several days to cut the tower into sections and have it lifted by a crane. The removal of footings and piping will take longer.

The old tower, which was drained in April, has exterior lead-based paint that's peeling. The city decided it was more cost effective to tear down the tower and build a new one. The second tower was built in 2009.