HOUSTON One tour of the Astrodome and you might agree that it is looking pretty shabby, but even after seeing the sad sight, many still don t know what should be done with it. Should it be torn down, or should it remain a familiar fixture in Houston s skyline?
Now it seems county leaders are finally on the way to making up their minds. The Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation will meet this week to talk about the future of the building.
I think we re in the position where we just need to make a decision. My guess is the public - if it s cost-effective and it s something that they think is a good idea still want to save the dome, said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
The future of The Dome boils down to three general ideas:
A private developer could do something with it but county officials say they ve yet to see an economically viable plan.
A publicly-funded redevelopment would force taxpayers to pick up the tab but the proposals have cost as much as a half-billion dollars.
The dome could be demolished with the cheapest estimate to do so costing about $29 billion.
What we remember as the Eighth Wonder of the World is now a political problem. Polls have indicated voters want to save it, but they re wary about spending lots of money on it.
The older you are, the more likely you want to see that Astrodome remain as it is. You may not want to pay for it, but you re not going to vote to tear it down, said Bob Stein, KHOU political analyst.
We could end up voting on the fate of the Astrodome in November. All of the ideas would require a bond issue, and that means voters will have their say.
The sports and convention corporation will take its ideas to the commissioner s court the last week of June.