Plan to build train stations okayed

The structures endorsed April 25 may merely be four walls made out of cheap pressboard siding - and they could be upgraded in the years to come, with full stations as once envisioned, supervisors said.

But Merlino said last week that the interim structures could be as extensive as the volunteers wanted, as long as they build it.

Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Russell said the construction of the Thurman Station would be up to a local citizens committee.

Thurman Station Committee president Perky Granger said Tuesday, May 3 she was pleased with the county vote, and the idea of drafting plans and recruiting volunteers would be addressed soon by her group.

She said her committee not only considered Thurman Station to serve as a site for community events, but their early dreams of a historically-detailed enclosed station had been put on hold in recent years, during an era that county supervisors pursued budget cuts.

"We always thought that something historic would be appropriate," she said. Meanwhile, her group has been seeking to locate the caboose now sitting in Riparius and outfitted as a refreshment stand, to be relocated to Thurman Station. Any development of Thurman Station would benefit Warrensburg and Stony Creek as well as thurman, she said.

"We want the station benefit the local economies," she said.

Meanwhile, county leaders are moving forward with the new train operators' ambitious plans. Last week, the county endorsed an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Corinth regarding the railway. The contract covers how revenue, expenses and responsibility will be shared. Yet to be ratified by Corinth, the agreement calls for the county to handle most administrative duties, plus coordinate and oversee repairs and infrastructure inspection as necessary.

The supervisors also voted to raise an emergency repair reserve fund - to be bankrolled over time from receipts from railway operations - from $500,000 to $1 million. The move was in response to warnings from public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson that the railway bridges along the line have an aggregate value of $31 million, and costly repairs would be likely over time.

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