Amtrak officials appear to be in favor of selling the historic train station to Windsor Locks, a town consultant said Tuesday.
Patrick McMahon, the town’s economic consultant, told the board of selectmen that internal reviews of the proposal to transfer ownership to the town are favorable.
“We’re going to get a letter from them,” McMahon said.
Amtrak still needs to an appraisal of the building and its footprint before negotiations on the sale will take place. McMahon said the town will still recommend that the agency sell the building for $1.
“Essentially we’re going to be doing all of the work finding funding for the restoration,” McMahon said.
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In July, Amtrak and the town sent letters of intent about the transaction. In Amtrak’s letter to the town, the corporation listed three conditions for the agreement for the sale to take place. One is Amtrak checking with the State of Connecticut to see if it has any interest in purchasing it; Amtrak will have an appraisal done of the station; and three, Amtrak does its own internal engineering, operational and management review.
The town has a $225,000 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant which can be used to pay for design work to restore the property. The town has chosen Cross Key Architects of Hartford to do the design work, officials said in July.
McMahon said he also understands that the state Department of Transportation received a finding of no significant impact for the New Haven to Springfield railway from the federal government.
“That tells me in essence that there is no environmental impact to moving the (Windsor Locks) station back to where it used to be,” McMahon said.
Windsor Locks has received a $250,000 state grant to cover the costs associated with the continued study of the relocation. The grant is part of the Transit Orientated Development Funding. Consultant Fuss & O’Neill has been hired to do an analysis of how the area could be developed around the train platform being moved there.
Town officials are creating a steering committee of local property owners, businesses, town officials and state officials to help determine what kind of development happens. McMahon said they have reached out to a number of people in the community to be on the committee.
That committee will meet in September and McMahon said he will bring names of people who want to be members to the selectmen at their next meeting.