If you’ve been waiting for a chance to vote on the fate of the Astrodome, you’ll just have to keep waiting.
Harris County officials unveiled options for the future of the long-vacant Astrodome last summer, with some members of Commissioners Court saying voters might be presented with a bond referendum last November, or perhaps this May, to fix it.
November is long gone, however, and there will be no vote in May either, with the deadline to present a ballot item passing today with no action from Commissioners Court. County officials have said voters would need a say because the price tag on any renovation plan would require selling bonds.
Texans owner Bob McNair suggested a plan for the Dome might be nice when he named former Secretary of State James Baker III to head the city’s Super Bowl bid committee last month, telling the Associated Press, “We should just do everything we can to make our bid as attractive as possible, and that includes making Reliant Park as attractive as possible.”
Commissioners acknowledge they’re no closer to placing an item on the ballot, however.
“We have waited for ideas for years and years on the Dome. It wouldn’t surprise me if we wait years and years more before something happens,” Commissioner Steve Radack said.
“I’m not in a huge rush because I don’t think we have the ideas and enough accurate information right now to really be able to present something to the voters.”
Radack said even if voters approved bonds for a Dome fix he wouldn’t support selling them now because doing so would force a tax increase.
See here and here for the previous updates, and here for some of the things people want to see done with the Dome. The good news is that by waiting, people have come to acknowledge that demolition may need to be an option, so a more honest conversation about what to do can be had. It’s also the case that with the economy in better shape there are more potentially viable proposals out there to do some kind of renovation/transformation, so it’s more realistic to hope for an alternative to demolition. Of course, in the meantime we continue to pay a bunch of money each year to maintain something that isn’t being used. In any case, you can keep thinking about it for awhile longer, because Commissioners Court isn’t ready for you to vote on something yet. Hair Balls has more.