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What to do with the old Moran Plant - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

What to do with the old Moran Plant

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

The Moran Power Plant closed 25 years ago, but Saturday the gates are open as the public peeks inside the run-down facility.

Peter Owens of Burlington's Community & Economic Development Office said, "Fundamentally, it's good just to start using it again, it's been a symbol of failure for so many years."

The open-plant is part of Mayor Miro Weinberger's push to redevelop the Waterfront - a task first attempted by Bernie Sanders when he held Burlington's top office.

But the availability of public development funds expires in 2014, so plans must come together quickly if residents decide to re-invigorate the rusting space.

Visitors can chalk up their ideas on the 'get well' card.

Alan Hugh Chandler Open-Plant Visitor said Saturday, "I just wanted to see what it looked like inside."

Chandler snapped pictures as he soaked in the old plant. His father used to work here, but Chandler never saw it in action. He hopes a re-purposed Moran could display work.

"I think it would be nice if they could do something artsy down here." Chandler said.

Another visitor, Peter Limanek commented, "I love the preservation idea, but I don't think there's really enough here, aesthetically, to save this building."

Limanek says he worries years of coal burning may create potential health concerns within the structure.

He says he could see recycling material into a sculpture park, or allowing a private developer to put in condos -- provided there's space for low-income tenants.

"I think having permanent residents down here would make it feel safer. " adds Limanek.

The city will begin accepting waterfront development proposals Monday, and the public is expected to pick its favorites by summer and vote on plans in time for next year's town meeting day.

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