0

Historic train depot in Leesburg damaged by water

Leesburg road resurfacing project is delayed when bids come in higher than expected

Public Works employees in Leesburg will be changing the drainage plan around the city’s former train depot to keep the structure in good enough condition to be renovated in the future. (File Photo)

Public Works employees in Leesburg will be changing the drainage plan around the city’s former train depot to keep the structure in good enough condition to be renovated in the future. (File Photo)

LEESBURG — Leesburg has big plans for its old, dilapidated train depot.

Plans include renovation of the former depot into a multi-purpose facility, complete with space for community gatherings and a small museum with artifacts pertaining to the city of Leesburg.

Those plans may be at risk if the city does not stop the water damage that is occurring at the depot building.

City Manager Bob Alexander told City Council members that the municipality is in the environmental assessment stage now in terms of getting grant funds for the restoration.

During that assessment, officials discovered that because of a buildup of soil over recent years, water is running into part of the structure during periods of heavy rainfall.

“It’s creating a deterioration for that side of the building,” Alexander said. “We’ve worked with engineers to come up with a plan to put in a storm drainage system that will alleviate the problem. That will enable the environmental assessment to move forward.”

Alexander said the work will be done by the Leesburg’s Public Works employees.

“The main thing for the historians and the environmentalists is they need to be assured there is a solution to the storm drainage issue,” he said.

City Council members also were informed during their monthly meeting Tuesday evening that plans for about a half-mile of surfacing inside the city limits has been put on hold because bids came in higher than anticipated.

Alexander told council members that plans were to complete a resurfacing project on Starksville Road and to resurface parts of Canal Street and Second Street.

Bids were rejected after Alexander said they were about double the estimates. Alexander said the city has been able to get about a mile of resurfacing done for about $85,000. As has happened in the past, Alexander said he hopes to work with Lee County’s government and get new bids when the city’s work can be done at the simultaneously with a county project. By expanding the resurfacing work, the bids should be lower, he said.