City needs agreement from railroad to renovate depot

The Kingman railroad depot is the first poured concrete building constructed in Arizona with a concrete roof, Community Development Director Dennis Roberts told the Kingman City Council at its Monday meeting.

He brought the council up-to-date on several issues related to the depot.

Otwell Associates Architects have completed a building assessment report funded by grants from the Great American Station Foundation and the State Historic Preservation Office.

The building was originally left unpainted to show off the fireproof concrete construction, the report states.

The first depot burned in 1900 and the replacement burned in 1906.

The design of the current depot reflected the railroad's interest in reducing the risk of fire.

Councilman Tom Spear asked Roberts to find the cost of removing the paint to compare with repainting the outside.

An estimated $495,000 would be required to restore the depot.

Amtrak has indicated an interest in moving back to the depot when renovation is complete, but would not use all the space.

Mayor Les Byram and Councilman Homer Johnston expressed concern about spending that much money without more information on a specific use and better information from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Roberts said city staff had visited other city depots in Flagstaff, Winslow and Holbrook plus a depot in Needles, Calif.

Staff also met with representatives of Amtrak and BNSF to discuss uses and restrictions.

"We are not spending money or contracting for plans until we resolve some of the issues with BNSF," Roberts said.

The city should get confirmation of receipt of state grant money to go toward the depot restoration project in December, but would not move forward even if approved until issues are resolved, Roberts said.

The grant application asked for $500,00 with the city responsible for 20 percent of the total.

In other business, Kingman resident Cal Richards appeared before the council to discuss an ordinance to control "boom cars" as sound amplification systems in cars becomes more powerful and prevalent.

He gave the council samples of enforceable ordinances that do not require special measuring devices.

They came from Chicago, Bullhead City and Tucson.

Byram said the city had discussed the issue a year ago but would look over the new information before making a decision.