LIMA — The Allen County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday to demolish the old ODOT train depot in north Lima. The depot, located at the corner of North West Street and Chapman Road, has been abandoned for several years, but the property has been of great value to Allen County.
“Today we took the next step into bringing down the train depot out of the old ODOT property. County engineer, county EMA (Emergency Management Agency) and some other county entities are using the property,” said Commissioner Cory Noonan. “We appreciate the agreement with ODOT to use the facility.”
Plans to improve the property have been in the works for a long time, with the late Jay Begg making the project a priority during his time as county commissioner.
“These discussions happened a few years ago to get the assistance from the state,” Noonan said. “Commissioner Jay Begg was very instrumental in really bringing those dollars, working with our state legislators and getting those dollars for that property to remediate some of the issues that were out there, and the train depot was one of them.”
The commissioners agreed to move forward with the demolition because they see no future use for the depot, and the maintenance costs and liability concerns are not worth keeping it around. The demolition could open up more space for EMA and possibly serve the county in other ways in the future, but no plans for it are certain.
“In the future, we’d be able to use it in a manner to assist with storage, or if there was ever a need like EMA,” Noonan said. “It has provided very beneficial service to the county, so we’ll see where we go with it, but right now it (the property) is being used and definitely is an asset for Allen County.”
The next step for the commissioners will be to hear bids and select a company to complete the demolition.