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Morro Bay to research Duke alternatives 

At its Oct. 10 meeting, The Morro Bay City Council directed staff to research other revenue sources for the Duke power plant. Duke announced its intention to sell the plant on Sept. 13. Duke officials have stated that the 50-year-old natural gas plant is inefficient and not profitable as is and must be modernized.

The move by the Council comes after the Sierra Club filed a petition to research alternative options. The petition stated that: "The community deserves the opportunity to review possible alternatives to a new plant, including restoration of the dunes habitat, a hotel, convention center, world-class aquarium, marine-related commercial facilities, a maritime museum, open space, parkland, or a combination of them - or others.-

Rob Schultz, Morro Bay city attorney, said he and staff have already begun researching things like Duke's asking price for the plant and if there are any grants available to fund such a purchase. Shultz said he's also looking into liability issues. Staff plans to report back to City Council on Oct 24. A public hearing to discuss alternative options is tentatively scheduled for the same day.

-J.P.

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