Archive for Thursday, October 28, 2010

$87,000 grant could help restore Lawrence’s train depot

October 28, 2010


After several blows this summer in the community’s push to preserve the Santa Fe Depot, the city of Lawrence received some good news Thursday.

The Kansas Department of Transportation received an $87,563 grant to finance the engineering and design services that are needed to restore the aging building that welcomes Amtrak passengers to Lawrence.

The project requires a $25,000 match from the city, which the City Commission must approve.

“This would be a project where the city would typically have a 100 percent funding responsibility,” said Diane Stoddard, assistant city manager. “So, it’s nice to be able to have the city’s funds go a lot further.”

A citizen’s group, Depot Redux, has led the effort to restore the 1950s train station in east Lawrence, which is owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

The station is in need of $600,000 worth of repairs — including a new roof, new heating system and upgrades to make the building accessible to people with disabilities.

This summer, the city’s application for a $583,000 federal grant that would help cover the cost of those improvements was rejected. The next round of transportation enhancement grant money likely won’t come until 2013.

KDOT approached the city about applying for a different grant that comes from the federal High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail program. The program began in 2009 and is designed to create a national network of high-speed rail corridors. So far, more than a 130 projects have been funded.

“Much to the credit of Depot Redux, the Santa Fe station is on the radar screen of a number of agencies in the area,” Stoddard said. “So, I think it is really nice that not only are we looking for funding opportunities, but we have other agencies doing that as well.”

The new grant will give the city a complete set of construction plans that can immediately be put out to bid once funding is available.

The city continues to work with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad to acquire the station, Stoddard said.


kansasredlegs 7 years, 3 months ago

Grant Money is Tax Money... Line up and get your slop 'lil piggies!!! Su-eeeeee!!!!

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 3 months ago

So The city spends 25K to get a 90K grant for a total of 115K. For a building that needs 600K in repair? Then we get to pony up another 485K from...

Jcjayhawk1 7 years, 3 months ago

Screw the Depot. You could keep 2 teachers employed for a year! This is the kind of misapplied funding that prevents Lawrence from strengthening it's education system. If it's not appropriated for it.

Jayhawker07 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope that includes bleachers and light shades for the high speed trains.

PS. I have a wheel chair and have no problem with the station.

Could we at least have a video exchange from the depot to the library. Or do I have to go to Dillons to get that super service from the red box.

You guys in city hall need to have your heads examined.

Vote NO for all these paid for politicians.

Thanks for throwing in the fritzel parking garage on the library bill.

OH! And don't forget to vote NO on the last vote when you are voting. Kind of funny that it is so hard to read on that one. Someone who does not understand the voting process will choose not to respond, which in then of course is a yes vote for the garage.

Nice cover!!!!!!! VOTERS, the Library vote is the last question on the ballot, just in case you want to find it and please vote what you want.

Jayhawker07 7 years, 3 months ago

I hope you understand how transparent they are trying to make it.

Paula Kissinger 7 years, 3 months ago

I think it would be a wonderful thing to restore the depot, don't get me wrong, but it would be totally financially irresponsible for the city to match funds for this project when they have refused to do so in the past for things involving human beings in this community like the WRAP program and such.

ralphralph 7 years, 3 months ago

Probably ought to fund a study of buggy-whip demand in NE Kansas while they're at it.

conservative 7 years, 3 months ago

If the building is owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad why aren't they the ones who should be paying to fix their building? Why does the city want to own something that is falling apart, we did that already when we inadvisedly bought the farmland property.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 3 months ago

BNSF does not operate any passenger service nor do they have any other use for the depot. According to what has been done in other areas of the country, they should tear it down and Amtrak should provide a waiting kiosk there, similar to the ones used by the MT (empty) transit system of Lawrence for its 10 or so passengers to keep out of the wind, rain and snow while waiting for a bus (or train).

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 3 months ago

What a total waste of taxpayer money. I expect a Merrill cut-and-paste is coming soon on this topic.

ToddStokes 7 years, 3 months ago

They used to sell slaves at that depot, along with calttle and farming supplies - Yeah I know Kansas was a free, and that was a long time ago, I say tear down the place, and wipe away the smear of its rememberance.

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