Boones Mill, VA - A few years back, many people thought the prospect of saving Boones Mill's historic train depot was nothing more than a dream. Not anymore. Some $242,000 of federal funding has been preliminarily approved which, in part, would ensure the building will likely be moved within the next 45 days. "I feel like I've been on a roller coaster sometimes. We have good days and bad days. We have things we accomplish and then the next day we have another hurdle. But I think we're getting to the end of that road now so we're ready to make the move," said Town Councilman Mike Smith. The biggest hurdle - money - is almost may no longer an issue. By July first, the project should see a major windfall of federal money, coming through VDOT's Transportation Alternative Program. It is part of the Commonwealth's Transportation Board's proposed upcoming budget.The other issues include the actual resources to get the move done. Dozens have stepped up throughout the project, including Randy Kingery, who cleared and leveled the lot where the depot will soon be located. "I want to see it happen and to see something happen you've got to start itYou just can't keep waiting," Kingery said. That leaves just the small stuff: The building permit, footers built and a clear path for the building's short trip down the road. Jerry Greene's grandfather was train agent at the depot for three decades, so for him this is personal. "We've worked with this thing for two years and now we know it's going to happen within the next 45 days. So it will happen," Greene said. The depot is the anchor of the town's revitalization which is also being augmented by the fact that 37 buildings in the town have been preliminarily approved as a state historic district. Final approval is expected in two weeks with a public hearing set May 13.Edited note: The grant, while it has been approved, has not been finalized through the CTB's final budget. I regret not having been more clear.
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