COLLINGWOOD -- Collingwood officials say the time has come to start thinking about the future of the town's historic waterfront grain elevators.

The town purchased the terminals in 1997, which have since become a multi-million dollar liability with the landmark silos dormant for more than 25 years.

According to officials, repairs to the elevators could cost about $10 million while tearing it down may cost only half that. The current town council says it will explore all options before a decision can be made on the terminal's future, including preservation, a private-public partnership, or even selling it.

"If we are going to do anything with the terminals, we need to know the condition of the piles and what they will support," says Dave McNalty with the Town of Collingwood. "Divers in the west end of the terminals to inspect the piles underneath the building and see what kind of condition they are in."

For more than six decades, the historic elevators helped to transfer prairie wheat from ships to trains and later trucks.

Construction of the Collingwood grain terminals started in December 1928 when 4078 wooden piles were driven into the lake bed to create a foundation for the landmark structure.

On Monday, the wooden support structure was subjected to an underwater inspection. Commercial divers inspected the outer most foundations and used an ROV to peer deeper inside the base of the structure. Original blueprints discovered at the Simcoe Country archives were used to navigate the underwater maze.

"Helped guide us in our inspections so we could tell what we were looking at compared to what was supposed to have been there when they built it a hundred years ago," says Aaron Snyder with the Canadian Underwater Inspection Services.

The results of monday's survey will be part of an engineer's report that will be delivered to council early in the new year.