Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baldwin City Council looking for grant to help with Santa Fe Depot

January 9, 2013

The Baldwin City Council authorized Monday moving forward with a grant application to make improvements at the city’s historic Santa Fe Railroad depot.

The council voted 4-0 (Councilman Coy Weege was absent) to authorize submitting a grant application to the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, which will make a recommendation on the city’s Transportation Enhancement Grant request for the Kansas Department of Transportation. KDOT will then consider all recommended applications.

The grant would provide 80 percent of the money needed for about $298,000 in proposed upgrades at the city-owned depot. Local entities would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent and another $25,000 for project design.

The grant proposal includes:

• $135,000 of improvements and maintenance to the depot, including an ADA restroom.

• $78,000 for new brick pavers and lighting for the depot’s platform.

• $71,000 for a shade shelter, benches and landscaping to the park east of the depot.

• $6,000 for ADA parking.

Mayor Ken Wagner said he didn’t support a previous request for a similar grant because it didn’t include work on the depot. He said council members should understand that although the city hoped to have partners in the local match, the city would have to pay part of the cost because it owns the property.

Partners in the project could include the Santa Fe Trail Historical Society, which leases the depot from the council, the Midland Railway and the Kansas Belle Dinner Train, City Administrator Chris Lowe said. He and the mayor will meet with those groups to discuss the $84,600 local match, Lowe said.

The improvements are necessary, council members said, adding that they wished more could be done to enhance the site and the area.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a $12,927 assessment to the 10 property owners in the North Sixth Street sewer district benefit district.

• Appointed city financial officer Brad Smith temporary city clerk with the resignation of Darcy Higgins. Lowe said he would have a recommendation for a new city clerk at the council’s Jan. 21 meeting.

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