The Astrodome: What happens next?

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - One week after Harris County voters said no to a $217 million dollar plan to fix up the aging Astrodome, Harris County Commissioners Court voted to go ahead with a plan to remove asbestos from the building. 

It is part of an already-approved $8 million project that includes removing ticket booths and the round, external ramps. 

"I voted against Proposition 2," explained one voter. "I want to keep the Astrodome, but I want to make sure my community gets the greatest return."

Renovation was the only option on the ballot. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said legally there could only be one option on the ballot.  But many voters believed the only alternative was to tear down the Dome. 

Judge Emmett said there were many misunderstandings with the project. 

He said, "I'll take it as my failure and everybody else who promoted it. Number one, it was not a convention center. That was not the plan."

Harris County Precinct 1 Commissioner El Franco Lee said one week would have been too fast to put a tear down vote before commissioner's court. 

He told Local 2, "That would just be exceedingly fast to put out start demolition."

Some hope the Dome could be declared a historic building and saved.  The group, "Astrodome Tomorrow" said it hopes a private investor could still be found. 

A spokesman said, "Don't throw in the 'Save the Astrodome' towel just yet." 

Judge Emmett said a decision needs to come in months and not years.  The Super Bowl comes to Houston in 2017.  That would give Reliant Park three years to complete whatever is next for the Astrodome.

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