MORRO BAY, Calif. – The City of Morro Bay will remove its iconic power plant stacks.
The city council voted last week for the removal of the stacks during its bi-weekly council meeting.
The vote passed 4 to 1 with only Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Heller voting against their removal.
The removal will likely be a lengthy process which will require the stacks to be taken apart bit by bit rather than demolished due to concerns over asbestos or other hazardous materials used in its original construction.
Another consideration was the cost of maintaining the stacks, which one estimate presented during the council meeting totaled more than $2 million. On the flip side, removing the stacks could cost the city next to nothing with most of the cost of removal falling on the shoulders of Vistra Corporation which purchased the old power plant.
Vistra will be allowed to remove the structure of pay the city a $3 million fine. The company is seeking to redevelop the sprawling waterfront property.
The stacks have dominated the Morro Bay skyline since the 1950s. The power plant that the stacks called home was closed for good in 2014.
The process to tear down the stacks could be lengthy with a deadline for completion set for January 1, 2028.