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HOUSTON -- The Reliant Astrodome once stood as a towering landmark, but the years have not been kind, and now some people are suggesting that it may not be worth saving.

There are health code violations, said Leroy Shafer, with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. [And] fire safety violations in the dome. And the county didn't want to spend the money to bring it up to code, considering it would cost several millions of dollars to do, and we understand that.

On top of the money it will cost to bring the Astrodome up to code, Judge Ed Emmett said it costs $3 to $4 million to maintain the dome as it sits unoccupied and not in use.

There were once big plans for the Astrodome that ranged from turning it into a movie studio, to making it into a hotel. The county says the ideas are still on the table, but missing from the table is the money to make it happen.

While some privately question whether the dome is beyond repair, Judge Ed Emmett said he disagrees.

I do think at the end of the day there will be a plan put forward that doesn't convert the whole dome into something, but saves it, he said.

So the question remains: How do we make the Astrodome a part of Houston s future and not just a part of our history?

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