The city commission recently approved a bid for repair of stone work and masonry at the Santa Fe Depot.
Mid-Continental Restoration was the successful bidder with a bid of $134,660 for the project which will repair stone work around the building and re-point masonry.
"This is part of our ongoing efforts to stabilize and preserve the building and to prevent further damage," said Melissa McCoy, project development coordinator for the city of Dodge City.
The restoration team will rake out all the mortar from the belt course of pink sandstone that encircles the building. The mortar will be replaced with a rounded bead similar to the original installation.
In addition, work will be done to slow the flaking of the sand stone.
"Mid-Continental had the lowest bid and they're also a company we've successfully worked with in the past," McCoy said.
The company repaired damage the depot incurred when a vehicle ran into a corner of the structure.
The project will benefit from the availability of several preservation products recently approved for use on historic structures by the Kansas State Historical Society.
Two additional projects were bid but will not be undertaken until spring. Because of various issues with the bids, a project to repair and repaint windows and doors and repaint soffits and downspouts, as well as a project to repair damaged plaster on interior walls, will be re-bid next spring.
McCoy indicated that the three projects are an effort to catch up on maintenance of the building.
"We hope to put a bi-annual maintenance plan in place and conduct evaluations on a regular basis so we can watch the building more closely," McCoy said.
The project is begin coordinated by the Tourism Task Force, the Depot Theater Company and the city of Dodge City, including the Parks and Recreation department.
The Tourism Task Force is tasked with implementing the master tourism plan created for the city several years ago. A depot development fund is part of the task force's budget, funds for which come from the organizational funding program under the Why Not Dodge? umbrella.
Why Not Dodge? funds, which were used to build the United Wireless Arena and Magouirk Conference Center, Legends park and Dodge City Raceway Park, are generated by sales tax in the county.
Officials are working with other granting opportunities to fund projects such as the depot maintenance project.
"The windows will be eligible for Heritage Trust Fund dollars and we're submitting a grant next month," McCoy said.
In addition, the Mariah Fund, a charitable foundation created by the Boot Hill Resort and Casino, awarded $10,000 to the depot project in their spring round of grants.
Kansas sales tax credits will provide another boost to the project. Tax credits covering 25 percent of the cost of the project have already been approved and will be sold to local taxpayers.
Page 2 of 2 - "Those tax credits can be used to pay up to 100 percent of your tax liability," McCoy said.
Work is expected to begin this month and will continue until next spring.