Calumet Township??s new five-year recreation plan is set to include renovating the old train depot. The depot ran a train all the way to Chicago back in its hey-day, but was shut down in the late ??60s.
Now, township supervisor, Paul Lehto, said the township board wants to purchase it from its private owner to clean it up for community use.
??We want to make sure, under the new guidelines, that the railroad depot is mentioned in the recreation plan,?? said Lehto. ??Also, we want to make sure that there??s public outreach so that the public knows what we??re doing with our recreation plan.??
The township board said that despite the fact that the building hasn??t been used in 50 years, it??s still in very good condition, and the one thing that it needs the most is a new roof.
??This would make a wonderful trailhead and a gateway to Calumet,?? Lehto added. ??We could have public toilets in there. We could have others uses for the building, but we certainly want to refurbish the building and make sure the building is preserved for future generations.??
Cost estimates are around $100,000, and grant applications through M-DOT and the DNR are an option, but not until next April.
??They have refurbished several railroad depots downstate, and we??d like to get in on that, but the first thing that we have to do is get the building in public ownership,?? Lehto said. ??That??s our process now is find a way to do that.??
Lehto said the township will hold a public hearing in the next 30 days to speak with the community about what to do with the depot.