The Washington Area Chamber of Commerce has received a $3,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to make repairs to the concrete base of the passenger train depot on Front Street.
The city of Washington owns the building, but the Chamber leases the facility and operates the visitors center.
“Every year MoDOT awards grants to depots along the Amtrak line for improvements,” said Mary Beth Rettke, tourism director. “This year they told us the money was to be scaled back from the usual $3,000 to $2,500, but we were able to get the full amount because some depots didn’t seek the grant this year.”
Rettke said the concrete at the base of the building has been chipping off in some areas.
“We got a bid to do the whole building, but decided to do only the portions in the worst shape, and then next year use the same grant to finish the project due to the costs involved,” she said. “The east and south ends will be repaired in the coming months.”
Mentz Foundations, Union, will do the concrete work.
“We hope to have the work done before the winter weather comes in,” Rettke said.
“We’re are very appreciative of this grant,” she added. “We’re always working to keep the depot in the best shape possible and with the cooperation between the city and Chamber we’ve been doing just that.”
The visitors center in the depot is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to about 5:15 p.m. The passenger section of the building also is open seven days from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The depot building dates back to the early 1920s.