The owner of Decatur’s century-year-old railroad depot downtown has accepted the city’s $145,000 purchase price for the historic building.
Decatur plans to renovate the depot for a transportation museum and police administrative offices. On Monday, City Council approved proceeding with an estimated $2.5 million restoration, with the condition it pay no more than the last appraised value of $145,000. The city earlier had been willing to pay depot owner Wally Inscho $175,000.
Inscho sent Community and Economic Development Director Wally Terry an email late Monday saying he accepted the $145,000 offer.
“I think it’s a great move forward because we all had reservations about paying more than the appraised value,” said District 2 Councilman Roger Anders who struggled to support the renovation due to its growing costs.
Anders proposed amending the council’s resolution Monday to say it would pay no more than the appraised value, and the council approved it 4-1. District 4 Councilman Charles Kirby voted against it.
“This helps push it forward, and it’s a win-win for everyone,” Anders said.
The depot sits off Vine Street Northwest in Councilman Billy Jackson’s District 1. Although the restoration would represent a $2.5 million investment at the gateway into his district, Jackson said he couldn’t support paying above the appraised value.
Inscho has said he has spent more than $100,000 on repairs since he purchased it in 1983 for $22,500. The city’s deadline to close the property deal with Inshco is Dec. 31.
Decatur must resubmit its plans to ALDOT for approval before it can bid the work. The city plans to use a $720,000 transportation enhancement grant toward the project.
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