The Leesburg City Council has approved spending measures to continue renovation efforts of the city’s train depot.
LEESBURG, Ga. -- The Leesburg City Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to spend up to $20,000 to complete another step in the planned renovation of the city's train depot -- an effort that has been going on for more than a decade.
Brockington and Associates of Norcross was approved to conduct the historical and environmental impact study in connection with the depot renovation.
Located directly across from City Hall on U.S. Highway 19, the depot would be used for community gatherings for up to 150 people, as a possible welcome center and as a display space for Lee County historical artifacts.
"This will do more to improve the image of Leesburg than has ever been done," said Opal Cannon, a Lee resident who has worked with the city throughout the process.
Leesburg City Clerk Casey Moore said U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany, attained federal funding of $291,000 in 2008. Moore said the city has completed several steps required before the federal funding can be provided.
Among those steps was a plan by architects for the multi-purpose facility.
After the vote Tuesday night, Cannon said, "I feel more positive about this project right now that ever since I promised Bob Boney (former Leesburg mayor) on his death bed that I wouldn't give up."
Cannon told council members she plans to work to raise private money to help with the interior of the facility in order to make it a first-class facility.
The city of Leesburg bought the structure about a decade ago, Moore said.
"It will require a new roof completely and there is structural work to be done," she said. "It's a turn of the century building with beams and rafters. It'll be beautiful if renovated."
Moore said it remains to be determined how much local money will be needed to complete the renovation.