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Depot project continues, town buys old gas station

After several weeks of work by a state prison work crew, the historic Chuckey Train Depot has been dismantled and the pieces moved to Jonesborough.
The dismantled depot is scheduled to be reassembled at the far end of the Jonesborough United Methodist Church parking lot, located near the railroad tracks just off Second Street, over the next four to five months, according to Mayor Kelly Wolfe.
“There are just two or three small details we are working on with the church’s officials and we hope to have those resolved shortly,” Wolfe said. “We are hoping to have the depot under roof before really bad weather sets in.”
Wolfe also said the BMA is waiting to hear from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to learn if Jonesborough will receive a state grant to aid in the establishment of the depot as a railroad museum.
That grant, Wolfe said, was originally earmarked for Johnson City. However, because the depot restoration project in Johnson City included plans for retail space, the project was disqualified from the grant, Wolfe said.
Wolfe asked the BMA to authorize $10,000 in budgetary funds to reassemble the structure. He stressed the need for moving ahead in a timely fashion in order to be able to utilize the same crew that disassembled the depot, a move he said that would ensure the accuracy of the reconstruction.
Town Operations Manager Craig Ford recommended $12,000 for the project, noting that footers and other pre-construction preparations would add more to the cost.
Alderman Jerome Fitzgerald made a motion to move ahead with the project and the plan was accepted unanimously by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
In other action, Wolfe announced that the old Exxon station on Boone Street has been purchased by the town.