City gets grant towards depot restoration

The city of Kingman has received a $15,000 grant from the Great American Station Foundation in Las Vegas, N.M., to hire an architect for restoration of Kingman's railroad depot, according to Bill Shilling, city grants adminstrator.

The grant selection was from 52 applications, according to the letter received from Hank Dittman, president of the foundation.

Results of the design grant and the evaluation of the structure being completed will be used to submit a grant application for additional work on the depot.

"These projects take a lot of time and grant writing to complete," Shilling said.

"One reason we are painting the depot now is because the city wants to improve the appearance as soon as possible.

"It could be quite a while before any additional work is funded and approved by the railroad."

The painting of the depot, owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is a step closer with the permit in hand, Shilling said.

BNSF track supervisor Mike McCallister has met with the Kingman City council on two occasions in the past six months to discuss the depot, underpasses at Airway Avenue, Louise Avenue and Seventh Street and access to the downtown area south of the tracks.

McCallister has worked with Flagstaff and other Arizona communities to restore depots.

He said he would do as much as he could to help Kingman develop the local depot to preserve a part of the city history.

Any underpass projects would be handled through the BNSF Public Projects Division, McCallister said.

The depot project requires permits from Staubach Global Services, the BNSF property management company, not directly from the operational division of the BNSF Railway where McCallister is employed.

Two copies of the 13-page permit arrived and contractors are revising bids to account for the restrictions, fencing and safety clothing which the painters will be required to wear.

The permit document includes extensive directions, restrictions and a map of the site.

The letter with the permit indicated BNSF waived permit fees of $1,250 and a $250 processing fee.

Anyone doing any kind of work near the railroad tracks requires temporary access permits.

"We expect to see the depot painting completed during July," Shilling said.

The city has budgeted $8,000 from general funds to pay for the painting.

The building has not been painted since the savings according to reports from city officials.

The painting project will improve the appearance of the historical building on Andy Devine Avenue and Fourth Street and is considered a temporary solution by Shilling.

"We have let a contract to have the building evaluated for structural soundness," Shilling said.

"Bill Otwell, a noted Arizona historical architect, is doing the evaluation.

He has done several other Arizona depots."

The structural evaluation is funded by an Arizona State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) grant.