Money has been allocated by the state and county government to help fun a project that will result in fixing up the old train depot in Russellville.
This week, Governor Steve Beshear announced $383,471 in funding for a project in Russellville would be made available.
The funding is through the federal Transportation Enhancement (TE). It will be used to restore and rehabilitate the historic Louisville and Nashville Railroad State Depot.
“The money will be used primarily to fix the outside of the building,” said Tom Harned, the executive director of the Logan Economic Alliance for Development (LEAD). “The roof is beginning to leak and the building is starting to get into bad repair. Something had to be done now before it deteriorated too much and we lost it.”
Harned said that the depot has such historical ties to Logan County that the building should be preserved.
The depot was originally built in 1911 but was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1936. The Depot Building served the Memphis Lien Division of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.
“From personal travel and business transportation to those leaving our counties to serve in the military, there are a lot of memories tied up in the Depot, so I am certainly pleased that we are now moving forward to bring it back to its former glory,” said state Rep. Martha Jane King, of Russellville. “This project really means a lot to our community, and we can’t wait until it’s finished. I want to thank Gov. Beshear and the Transportation Cabinet for their work in making this possible.”
The building is currently owned by the RJ Corman railroad company, but will be leased to the Logan County fiscal court for $1 so that the county government can have full control of the building.
“The grant money will then come to fiscal court and they will be the ones that physically take care of it,” Harned said.
RJ Corman currently still uses a small amount of office space in the building, and will continue to do so once it is leased to the county, but most of the space will be available for other uses.
“The end use of the building remains to be seen,” Harned said. “I don’t know how far the grant money will go. Our first order of business will be to get the building weather tight and. Once we’ve done that, we can start looking for adaptive reuse for the remainder of the building. The rest could be available for a railway museum, a restaurant, offices or any number of things.”
TE is a federally funded reimbursement program administered by the Office of Local Programs in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.
“Enhancing a community’s transportation choices also enhances the quality of life for its citizens,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are confident this project will provide positive benefits for residents.”
The program assists communities in funding transportation improvements such as safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities, scenic routes, beautification and other investments. Projects may be a mix of elements and accessible to the general public or targeted to a broad segment of the general public.
TE funding enables the local government to recoup as much as 80 percent of the cost of a project. The Logan County Fiscal Court will put $95,867 of its local funding toward the cost of the project.