Crumbling Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue water tower to get new look

The water tower will get a paint job and some much-needed repairs, to the tune of $468,000 — but that's half the cost of what the West Island city would pay to demolish the tower completely.

Mayor Paola Hawa said town will pay $468K for paint job and repairs, but tower will then last 15 to 20 years

The old water tower was constructed in the 1930s but hasn't held water in 15 years. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

The water tower that stands near Highway 20 in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in Montreal's West Island has seen better days.

The tower was built in 1936, but it hasn't held any water for 15 years. Its paint is peeling.

"It's become an embarrassment," says Mayor Paola Hawa.

The municipality will be giving it a paint job and some much-needed repairs, to the tune of $468,000 — about half the cost of what it would take to demolish the tower completely.

Hawa told CBC News the city wants to pay for something that will last.

"Our objective was really to make sure that whatever we do, that nobody has to keep it up or repaint it for another 15 to 20 years," she said.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa called the water tower 'an embarrassment.' (CBC)

The 40-metre tower will be grey about a third of the way up, with the rest painted white and bearing the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue logo.

The tower is now used as storage for traffic cones and other municipal equipment, and while residents have suggested some other uses for it — a rock-climbing wall, an observatory — Hawa said getting there is a problem.

"Where are people going to park? Where's the access?"

Currently the water tower is used only for storage. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

One longtime resident, John Thompson, told CBC he's happy with the new plan.

"It's part of our history, part of the tradition of this town. And it would be nice to see them do something positive with it," he said.

The renovation project is supposed to be finished by October. 

With files from CBC's Navneet Pall