ROUSES POINT - There's more money on the horizon for the restoration of the former Delaware and Hudson Railway Station, according to the office of Gov. David A. Paterson. In an announcement from the governor's office, the village of Rouses Point is expected to receive $832,500 for the station through the federal Transportation Enhancement Program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The ARRA was most recently signed into law by President Barack Obama, making approximately $1.12 billion available to New York State for transportation-related projects.
The funding is expected to completely cover the cost to restore the 1889 building, which was estimated at just more than $800,000, said Geri Favreau, president of the Rouses Point-Champlain Historical Society. The nonprofit organization has been working with the village to restore the structure since 2002.
"We've been waiting a long time and keeping our fingers crossed that this was going to happen," Favreau said of a way to fund the restoration. "The historical society can raise money. We do well for a small group, but we could never raise $800,000."
"It's so exciting," she added.
Village Mayor George A. Rivers was overwhelmed with the news, he said, and congratulated the efforts of the historical society, the support of village residents and the hard work of community development director Melissa M. McManus and the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce for bringing the restoration's progress this far.
"This was absolutely wonderful news," said Rivers. "It means a lot for the village. We've all waited a long time for this and it's possible because of a lot of people."
In a statement from chamber of commerce president Garry F. Douglas, he stated the restoration of the railway station will do much to enhance the view passengers of the railway see when passing through the village.
"The chamber has been pleased to work with the village of Rouses Point to secure funding for the station," he said. "We had identified this project as one of the region's priorities for stimulus funding, raising it with the governor's staff numerous times and bringing state transportation officials to the site to see the need first hand."
"Needless to say, we're very, very excited we're going to be able to restore our station," added McManus.
The announcement comes just a little more than a month since the announcement Congressman John M. McHugh, R- Pierrepont Manor, secured $95,000 to replace the station's roof during this construction season. That money was secured through the Omnibus Appropriations Act, which was approved in the House of Representatives Feb. 25 and most recently approved by the Senate and the President.
In addition to replacing the roof, the restoration project is expected to include repairing drainage, chimney work and fa ade improvements. The restoration would aim to develop the building, at least in part, into a museum of the village's history, which has centered a great deal on the railroad.
Once awarded, projects such as the railway station are expected to begin promptly, in compliance with federal and state regulations. The village will be required to pay the total project cost up front, with up to 80 percent of costs eligible for reimbursement.
"That won't be a problem," said Rivers.
The requirement of ARRA funding is the restoration project must be completed by March 3, 2012, with 100 percent reimbursement of eligible costs.