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Outgoing Mayor Stephen Mandel says he wants the Rossdale site to honour the area's Aboriginal heritage

While the future of the Rossdale Power Plant continues to teeter, the City of Edmonton heard proposals Monday that could breathe new life into the de-commissioned river valley site.

Ideas presented to the Executive Committee ranged from turning the 1903 building into housing, to space for business or artwork. All options would require millions of dollars in upgrades.

"I visualize, particularly on that river bank, marvelous pieces of sculpture of glass facing the sun," Edmonton architect Douglas Cardinal told the Executive Committee.

"Filled with people, filled with plants. Exciting spaces that grow in harmony with the river bank."

Henry Maisonneuve with Rossdale ReGeneration, a group that is lobbying to save the site, supported a $7.3-million proposal to secure the buildings for at least 30 years, buying time for every idea to be considered.

"That will afford the other opportunities. We have yet to understand the magnitude of those other opportunities. One step at a time," Maisonneuve told media.

While the decommissioned EPCOR power plant and two smaller pump houses received historical designation from the province in 2001, earlier this year it was revealed that the cost of making the buildings usable for commercial purposes would be $87 million.

In February, the city asked EPCOR to request the province rescind the historic designation to clear the way for a possible demolition.

Mayor Stephen Mandel said he would like to see the site developed with the area’s Aboriginal traditions in mind.

"I really believe we need to save it, personally," Mandel told the media.

The Executive Committee agreed Monday to further study stabilization of the Rossdale site, with a decision on how much to spend on that to be left for a newly elected city council in November.

Administration has been instructed to gather more proposals of interest from private developers who may want to invest in the site.