BARRE, Vt. — The city of Barre is hoping to offer permanent homes for some of the 1,500 Vermont state employees displaced when flooding from Tropical Storm Irene inundated the Waterbury state office complex.

Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon said being able to become permanent home to some of the state workers would be a boost for the industrial city, which is in the process of undergoing a $16 million renovation that includes repaving some streets and sidewalks, cleaning up parks and restoring street lamps.

“Five hundred people working and shopping there every single day,” Lauzon told Vermont Public Radio.

“Normally in Vermont you don’t have the opportunity to dump 500 workers in one fell swoop. So, in that regard, this is just a wonderful opportunity for the City of Barre.”

Lauzon has proposed developing an empty lot in the heart of downtown as new office space. He also hopes to fill other vacant buildings. The city is now working on a proposal and talking with officials from the administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Many of the state workers forced out of Waterbury are working in other communities while the decision is made about where they should go permanently. Officials in Waterbury have asked the state to return the state workers to their community.

But state officials have not committed to doing that. The state is considering a variety of options about how to find permanent places to work for the dislocated state employees, which could include Barre or other locations.