A 110-foot-high steel water tank, erected in 1918, is to be demolished

MANCHESTER — The village, perhaps by summer, may never look the same again.

The village will be opening bids later this month for the demolition of the 110-foot-high steel water tank, which towers above the tree-lined Merrick Avenue.

The hope is the white tank, which sports blue-painted letters spelling “Manchester,” will be gone sometime over the summer, according to Village Clerk Rita J. Gurewitch.

“If it takes place, it will be quite a project,” Gurewitch said. “It’s going to change our landscape.”

The standpipe tower was erected in 1918, when the village used water from an aquifer, Gurewitch said. The tower is still in use, as is a second, larger tank behind the Manchester-Shortsville school complex that was erected in the mid-1980s.

The Merrick Avenue tank holds about 210,000 gallons of water.

The problem, according to Public Works Supervisor Jeffrey Liberati, is money that has to be spent on an outdated tower.

The tower is due for sandblasting and a paint job, as well as a state Department of Health-mandated inspection. The cost is expected to run in the neighborhood of $300,000 to $400,000.

Because the village began purchasing water drawn from Canandaigua Lake, there is no need for both tanks now, Gurewitch said.

“It’s going to cost us more to do something with it than it will to tear it down,” Liberati said.

The cost of demolishing the structure will depend on the bids that come back, which are scheduled to be opened May 27. The cost of scrap metal also will have a determination on the project. The more a company can get for the metal salvaged from the demolition, the less it will cost.

Once the tower is gone, the village may sell the full-size lot, which is in the midst of a residential neighborhood, Gurewitch said.

Shortsville resident Kevin Van Petty, enjoying a lunch at the Timber Creek Tavern on Main Street, said if the tower is not needed he doesn’t mind if it’s taken down.

“If they can save $300,000 and put it somewhere else, sure, we all should be for it,” Van Petty said.

John Yacuzzo, who lives in the village, said he probably wouldn’t even miss it.

“If it’s not needed, there is no sense of having it,” Yacuzzo said.

Jim Quigley of Manchester said it doesn’t matter to him if it stays or goes.

“Leave it up to the people who live around it,” Quigley said.

Jehova Fernandez, whose home neighbors the tower, said after seven years, he’s used to it.

Still others may experience a sense of nostalgia at seeing the tower come down, if it happens.

“It’s kind of a landmark,” Liberati said. “But out with the old, in with the new.”