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After being rebuffed by one federal agency on three separate occasions, the village of Riverside is taking a new tack in its efforts to get funding for repairs to the roof of its historic train station.
At the end of May, Village Manager Peter Scalera sent in an application seeking more than $800,000 in funding from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, which disburses federal money for transportation-related infrastructure projects.
The train station roof has been on Riverside's radar for nearly a decade, and the total cost to complete the repairs - pegged at a little more than $1 million - is too much for the village to cover on its own without seeking outside assistance or going to local taxpayers for help.
Even with the grant, the village's portion of the cost, which is estimated at about $200,000, would be a large line item in Riverside's capital budget.
In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Riverside sought assistance for the work through the federal Save America's Treasures grant program, but failed to gain funding. Instead of going for that again, Riverside sought funding through the ITEP program, which previously helped fund improvements to Centennial Park on the north side of the railroad tracks.
The state will announce the recipients of ITEP grants in the fall. If Riverside receives the money, the village hopes to begin repairs to the roof in the spring of 2013, according to the grant application.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Metra have sent letters of support for Riverside's application, and Metra has reportedly promised to contribute half of the 20-percent municipal match.
Riverside also got help for its application from state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-12th), who will represent a portion of Riverside following the November general election. He is running unopposed.
Village President Michael Gorman met with Sandoval and representatives from the Illinois Department of Transportation and Metra at a lobbying day in Springfield in May. It was at that meeting that Metra indicated it would help fund the local match.
Metra in February commissioned an engineering study of the train station roof to determine its condition and the scope of any work. The study concluded that the timber roof trusses were in good condition even though some had been exposed to water.
However, the study also concluded that the tile roof needed to be replaced, along with the gutters, downspouts, flashing and fascia.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency said it would support the roof repairs as long as the village saved as many original clay tiles as possible, filling in where necessary with new tiles.
The brick train station was built in 1901 by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, replacing the original structure, built in 1871 and designed by William LeBaron Jenney. The Jenney-designed station was destroyed by a fire.
The present station was declared a Riverside landmark in 1993.