Ozark Train Depot Restoration

By: Erica Proffer
By: Erica Proffer

The city of Ozark says it is determined to restore its old train depot, despite the lack of support from the county.

Recently, the city was denied money from Dale County to help restore the condemned train depot.

County leaders say they don't see a need to give Ozark money for the restoration of a depot, when they say money for the county is already tight.

Nonetheless, the city is hoping to raise $15,000 dollars to move the depot to Stegall Park, and turn it into a museum.

"That was the Center of Commerce in the 1900's. It was by train. For a lot of people, it's how they traveled from Ozark to Dothan. It was the only way to get there before the automobile." says Ozark Mayor, Bob Bunting.

The city was given a grant for the project, but due to Hurricane Katrina relief, the costs for the bid were too high to accept.

Now, the city is reapplying, and they say they will need about $76,000 dollars to match the grant money.

Through a generous contribution, the city has almost $65,000 dollars of that raised.

"I’m sure many of the young people one day will probably wonder how that all happened, and if we don't do something about keeping the depot here, we won't have that opportunity," Mayor Bunting says.

Leaders say it's too early to anticipate a construction start date, but they hope to have a grant and money to match by next spring

The city of Ozark is using no city money for the project.

All money is provided through contributions.

The depot group is selling bricks and taking donations to help reach their goal of $15,000 dollars.

If you are interested in making a donation, call Jim Rudd at 792-2300.


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