12/18/08 — Goldsboro enters into deal to accept station grants

View Archive

Goldsboro enters into deal to accept station grants

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 18, 2008 1:46 PM

Stabilization work at Union Station is expected to get final approval by the state Department of Transportation this week and the next, highly anticipated step, will be the full restoration of its exterior, a project estimated to cost at least $1 million.

But the city of Goldsboro will only have to pay a tenth of that cost, thanks to $900,000 in grants announced in September.

Most of the money will come from the Federal Highway Administration. The city must contribute 10 percent in matching funds.

City Council members this week approved a formal four-year agreement with the state, promising the city would meet its obligation, which can be paid in the form of cash or in-kind services.

The federal government will pay 80 percent and the state Department of Transportation 10 percent.

The final phase of the project will start with planning and environmental work architectural and engineering design.

Then, any grant money not already spent can be rolled over into construction when additional funds are identified to proceed with construction, he added.

Construction is intended to return the station as closely as possible to the way it was 100 years ago, officials have said.

Some of the work will involve putting on a new clay tile roof, making the station handicapped accessible and installing modern amenities like air conditioning.

But unlike the first agreement that the city and the state had for the first phase of the station, the new contract says the city must pay all of the expenditures up front and will be reimbursed by the state, said Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. Director Julie Thompson.

In August 2007, the transportation department acquired the station, but come spring, ownership of the building will be transferred to the city, which will then be responsible for "governing and guiding the work concerning the scope and approach as well as bids and overall supervision of the project in conjunction with NCDOT," according to the agreement.

While work on the exterior is going on, the city will be working with DOT officials to find funds for the full restoration project, including the interior of the building.

Mrs. Thompson said planners hope the offices of GATEWAY, the public transportation system, can be moved into and operating out of the building within the next two years.

The type or an exact timeline for rail service hasn't yet been pinned down, she said.

And it is still too early to estimate what the total cost of getting the station back to its historical grandeur and up and running will be, consultants have said. The demolition and stabilization work has already cost $1 million.