SBD/November 7, 2013/Facilities

Astrodome Demolition Appears Likely Following County Vote, But Could Be Far Off

Voters on Tuesday rejected a $217M renovation proposal for the Astrodome
Harris County (Texas) commissioners who will decide the fate of the Astrodome yesterday said that it is "possible that burial for the city's landmark structure is still some time away, if it comes at all," according to Michael Graczyk of the AP. Harris County Commissioners Court member Steve Radack said a quick decision or start to the demolition of the facility is "not going to happen." Commissioner Jack Morman said of a decision, "Unless it's very much out of the blue, I would not expect any action. But I would say in the near future, maybe in the next couple of months." He added that "demolition, while now the 'only alternative' before the panel, may be likely but not immediate." Morman: "I know we'd like to see resolution and something done before the Super Bowl in 2017, whether demolition or rehabilitation or whatever it may be. It's not a deal breaker." (AP, 11/6). In Houston, Kiah Collier reports Tuesday's voting that rejected a $217M renovation proposal for the Astrodome "caught some observers by surprise, in part because a September poll of likely voters showed the Dome" bond "passing handily." Univ. of Houston associate professor of political science Brandon Rottinghaus said that the vote is "indicative of resistance among conservative voters to big-ticket spending items they believe are not necessary, or, in the case of the Dome, that could be paid for with private instead of public dollars." He added that county leaders "did not adequately address a 'burden of proof' to explain why the proposed 'New Dome Experience' project had to be paid for with public money" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/7).
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