If the City Council agrees, the city manager could ask the state to take back a decade-old grant that was supposed to help build a railroad museum in Oak Ridge.
The $480,000 grant could be used to help build the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum at the former K-25 site in west Oak Ridge, a project estimated to cost about $1.25 million.
The Oak Ridge City Council agreed to apply for the grant in 2000, and state officials have now set a last-chance Nov. 1 deadline for an authorization to proceed on the 5,000-square-foot project, City Manager Mark S. Watson said in a memo.
“SARM has many hurdles to overcome between now and then, including major design revisions, a National Environmental Policy Act environmental clearance for the new site, identification of the right-of-way, and design review,” Watson said.
He said the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee has agreed to contribute a $120,000 match. However, Watson has pointed out that the $480,000 Tennessee Department of Transportation grant and the $120,000 CROET match would only cover half the cost of building the museum.
Watson has said the city can’t proceed with a second $800,000 state grant for work at Jackson Square until officials resolve what to do with the railway museum grant.
Tonight’s City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building Courtroom.