Not Too Late to Buy Train Depot

By: Sabrina Zimring
By: Sabrina Zimring

Last year the Downtown Improvement Board struck a deal with the Kingston Group, which is buying the depot and the 11 surrounding acres of land.

As part of the deal, the Kingston Group offered to sell the two-story portion of the old depot to the city for just ten dollars, but it had to be done within one year of the sales closing on November 18.

The intent was that the depot would be restored for historical value, but commissioners nixed the idea, saying they didn't feel it was appropriate to spend a million and a half dollars of taxpayer money for the restoration.

Commissioners have exactly one month to change their mind and take Kingston up on their offer.

"Can you imagine ten dollars buying a $250,000 piece of property? It would be foolish and irresponsible not to do this."

DeGeorge wants to make this the hot topic of Tuesday’s commission meeting, encouraging commissioners to seal the deal and collect thousands of dollars in restoration funds from the state.

"All we would have to do is resubmit the grant to help restore it. It ends up being $360,000. We can get private donations, we need to save it."

DeGeorge said Wednesday that the local group Citizens for a Better Government filed an appeal hoping to take this case to the Supreme Court. The mayor says it's not a case of winning or loosing, but an issue of preserving our historic areas.

"I'd like citizens to e-mail me, I'd like people within the city to contact commissioners and say this is our history we want to save it."

Tuesday’s city commission meeting will be held at 4 p.m. at Panama City City Hall.


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