City to look at railroad museum addition at depot

Kingman city officials face an important juncture in the downtown depot renovation process over whether to include a railroad museum.

City planner Rob Owen said a decision about officially revising a federal grant application to include a museum will come after analysis of comments collected during an open house Tuesday.

Planning department staff and the public reviewed renovation plans for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe depot downtown.

Owen said the design is 30 percent complete and that renovation could begin sooner than originally expected.

"We have shortened the process in Kingman from five years to just over three years," Owen said.

"Construction could begin in December 2004."

He said the city's grant application does not include money for a railroad museum although revised plans already include a museum

"Model train buffs and residents with railroad artifacts would be encouraged to participate in the museum plans," Owen said.

Shannon Rossiter, director of the Mohave Museum of History and Arts, has been invited to attend meetings with ideas about managing a railroad museum.

The city has an agreement with the Mohave Museum to assume management the Route 66 Museum in the Powerhouse Visitor Center.

The historic Bonelli House, which is owned by the city, has been managed by the Mohave Museum for several years.

The railroad and Amtrak have reached agreement on a lease for the depot that will include a ticket office and waiting room for Amtrak, which will then sublease the property to the city.

The Amtrak waiting room currently is on Fourth Street across Andy Devine Avenue from the depot.

The renovation project includes the 4,358 square-foot depot and a total site of 55,000 square feet with landscaping extending from Fourth Street east past the water towers, where a shade ramada would be built.

In the other direction, the city has been approved for a grant to purchase the land between the depot and the Powerhouse Visitor Center for a park.

Owen said he is working on the environmental impact study, which must be completed before the land is purchased.

Owen said he is looking for residents interested in helping with the railroad museum planning and a model railroad project.

For information, people should call 753-8133.

Railroad retirees in Kingman have indicated they would donate items to a museum.

Partners with the city in the depot project are the Federal Highway Administration, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, the railroad and Amtrak.