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Feedback wanted for the future of the Pueblo Chemical Depot

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Birdseye view of Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Birdseye view of Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant
PUEBLO -

The future of the Pueblo Chemical Depot lies in the hands of community members. The redevelopment group wants citizens to help decide what goes in there next.

They held their first public meeting at the Pueblo Convention Center on Wednesday night to start gathering input.

This is essentially a 12 month planning period to decide what's next for the Chemical Depot. Although they still have three to four years left of the chemical weapon destruction process, once that is complete, the government will hand the property over to become "PuebloPlex."

"This won't be just a local or regional attraction, it will be an international attraction, because of the assets that are available including the amount of property and the environmental condition of the property," Dan Schnepf, President and CEO of the Matrix Design Group said.

Imagine starting over with 16,000 acres. That's what the redevelopment group is going through for PuebloPlex.

"Our job is to redevelop portions of the Chemical Depot for economic development purposes, job creation, tax base enhancement and to ensure that the property is cleaned up environmentally," Russell DeSalvo, President and CEO of PuebloPlex said.

As we first told you on News5, the depot has started destroying the chemical weapons stored here. Once that process is complete, the facility will be decommissioned.

"The size of the facility is the same or similar to Miami, Florida. So there's lots of buildings, lots of infastructure, lots of possibilities that we have to reutilize these assets," DeSalvo said.

"There's a lot of potential out there, a lot of land, a lot of beautiful buildings that could be utilized so I'm excited about the potential," Ed Brown, Vice President of Pueblo City Council said.

But before deciding what to do with all this property, they are asking for feedback from the community.

"We really need help, we need the community's help with a project this large. We need all the brain power that we can get," DeSalvo said.

More jobs, new companies and what they say are endless possibilities.

"We've had ideas for renewable energy, distribution, manufacturing, law enforcement training, storage, rail is likely in our future," he said.

"We're going to try and do something along the same lines in terms of industrial use because it's much easier to position property for industrial use when it was used that way since the 1940's," Schnepf said.

If you missed tonight's meeting but would still like to weigh in on what you'd like to see the Chemical Depot become, they'll be holding another public meeting later this summer. Using your input, they should have a better idea of plans for this area within the next year.

For more information on the redevelopment plans click here.

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