Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Council seeks input about depot destiny

Whether or not to paint the old Union Pacific Railroad depot at a cost of $10,000 prompted discussion by Gothenburg City Council members.

At the end of their May 17 meeting, they decided to solicit ideas from the public about the future of the aging building that was relocated from near tracks to a corner of Lafayette Park.

The building has been used as a gift store and preschool.

City administrator Bruce Clymer said the building hasn’t been leased for awhile and needs work.

To make it useful to the community, Clymer said it would probably need $400,000 worth of renovations.

Anne Anderson, Community Development Office director, wondered if the depot could replace the unheated city pavilion—which is also in the park—and be used year round.

However she noted that the depot was both difficult and expensive to heat and cool when she leased it for a gift shop.

Other suggestions included maintaining the building and trying to lease a new business, getting grants and fund raising to remodel the depot, selling it to a private owner and moving it from the park, asking if a business or organization might want the structure, tearing it down or relocating it to a Redevelopment Authority lot or Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce lot at the bottom of the overpass to be used as a Chamber/Welcome Center.

Council president Jeff Kennedy described the depot as a “money pit,” noting that the building doesn’t add to the community’s historical character like the Pony Express Station does.

Kennedy suggested using money to tear down the pavilion and build a new structure for community use.

Suggestions about what to do with the depot can be made by calling the city office at 537-3677.

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