Thursday, 17 May 2012 01:54

Ione City Council finalized an agreement with Union Pacific to save the Ione Train Depot

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Amador County – Ione City Council on Tuesday finalized a lease extension agreement to the end of the year to save the Ione Train Depot.

Interim City Manger Jeff Butzlaff said the council also got together the nucleus of a committee to work on relocating the depot and “fundraising is going to be a key part of it.” The Council likely will appoint the official committee next month.

In early May, Ione received an “immediately available, one-year interest-free loan” of $45,000 from the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwok Indians.

Amador County Historical Society president Thornton Consolo announced the “momentous occasion” in a May 3 letter to directors of Amador Central Railroad Management Committee, the Recreational Railroad Coalition and the Society. He said Union Pacific “has graciously extended the land lease for the historic Ione City Railroad Depot. This will allow time for the city to relocate the depot to city property that is adjacent to the railroad tracks.”

Consolo said it was made possible through hard efforts of Ione staff and “generous financing and support from Rich Hoffman, CEO of the Jackson Rancheria Casino and the Jackson Band of Miwuk Tribal Council that allowed funding to save this structure.”

Consolo said Union Pacific has been generous in donating the depot and use of its property, and “today marks the true beginning of the project to save the depot.”

Butzlaff in a report Tuesday said “at literally the 11th hour, we got assured funding, and were therefore able to submit a specific timeline for accomplishment.”

To “seal the deal” Tuesday, the Council approved a Supplemental Agreement of the extension to Dec. 31, 2012. “To make the deal even sweeter,” Butzlaff said, Union Pacific also gave “approval to move the Depot across their station grounds to the City site.” Cleaning the site and moving the building allows the city to avoid “abatement” of the depot contaminants by demolition by Union Pacific.

Consolo spearheaded “the hammer and nail approach” of preservation, shoring up the Deport roof and siding, making it less susceptible to weather damage. He also applied to the Rancheria for financing. Butzlaff said the city now has a real deal and a chance to go forward and intends to get the word out and by June 19 formally establish a depot committee.

The timeline includes May 3 to July 31 “analysis of the specific location and methodology of placement of the depot on the city’s old corporation yard.” Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 is the competitive bidding process for “pre-relocation external lead abatement and actual building relocation.” Oct. 1-31 will be for completing relocation of the depot along with addressing any “ground disturbance issues” on Union Pacific land.

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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