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Village of Riverside waiting to hear about train station grant

RIVERSIDE – The village of Riverside is anxiously waiting to find out if it received a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation to repair the town’s train station. The $900,000 grant would go toward repairing the roof of the village’s train station, which was built in 1901.

Ed Bailey, director of the Riverside Public Works Department, said the village will know if they earned the grant sometime this month. He added the grant, which Riverside applied for last fall, is provided through IDOT’s Transportation and Enhancement Program. 

Bailey said the village first applied for the grant in 2009. Since then, he added, Riverside applied three or four more times, and all of their submissions have been rejected. 

“There’s a huge competition for these funds,” said Bailey. “There s no guarantee that we’ll be awarded anything.”

The main issue, he said, is with the roof’s clay tiles, of which, many are damaged.

“These tiles are over 100 years old,” Bailey said. “Impacts from the weather causes them to crack and break.” 

Bailey said Riverside’s Board of Trustees can decide to either replace or maintain the clay tiles.

The director said the State Historic Preservation Office in Springfield strongly recommended that the village sustains the clay tile. He added the office doesn’t want the train station to have a different roof because it would take away from the historical integrity of the building. 

Even though no formal decision has been made on how to replace the roof, Bailey said the village board is currently researching possible solutions.

“Our train station is an iconic building,” said trustee Ellen Hamilton. “I don’t want to see it fall on the wayside.”

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