08/04/10 — Goldsboro on target for federal money

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Goldsboro on target for federal money

By Kenneth Fine and Steve Herring
Published in News on August 4, 2010 1:46 PM

A March trip to Washington, D.C. by a delegation that included Mayor Al King and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. executive director Julie Thompson, appears to have, at least partially, paid off.

Less than a year after the group asked U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield to support several downtown projects -- city officials submitted formal requests for allocations as a part of the Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations cycle, including $3 million for the streetscape redesign project, $3 million for the proposed construction of a recreation center downtown and $1.1 million for the design and construction of the GATEWAY Transfer Station that will be housed at Goldsboro Union Station -- the congressman has announced a press conference to be held at the historic train depot, one GATEWAY Director Alan Stubbs said this morning would confirm $500,000 for the transfer station.

The $500,000 will require a 10-percent match, $50,000 from both the city and state, Stubbs added.

And while the amount is short of the $1.1 million that had been sought, Stubbs said that he was still happy to get whatever he could for a project expected to cost roughly $4.5 million.

"I was happy to get it, and hopefully, as they see more and more done, more money will come in," he said. "I wish we had been ready when the stimulus money came around, but you had to be shovel ready."

The $500,000 is the second allocation that Butterfield has been able to secure for the transfer station, Stubbs said. Last year, the project received $855,000.

The Union Station project, which includes construction of the GATEWAY facility, is considered one of the anchors of a downtown revitalization effort that has been ongoing since the restoration of historic City Hall.

Since that time, businesses within the city's core have been overhauled through grants awarded by the DGDC, the City Hall Annex was constructed, the Paramount Theater has been rebuilt and officials have set their sights on redesigning streetscapes and constructing a replacement for the Community Building that burned down several years ago.

Much progress has been made on revitalization efforts at the depot since the DOT announced in August 2007 that it had purchased the station and intentioned to renovate it to create a multi-modal transportation hub and, potentially, allow for the rebirth of passenger rail service from Raleigh to Wilmington, through Goldsboro.

Architect David Gall was hired to complete the project and plans were drawn and shared with the public just last month.

The GATEWAY facility, too, has made headway since that 2007 announcement -- culminating with this most recent news.

The board expects to begin a search for its own architect within the next several weeks.