Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is “on board” with saving the Moline Train Depot, sending a letter on Tuesday, December 18th to the Moline Preservation Society saying the state will help pay to move the historic landmark.
Diann Moore, President of the Moline Preservation Society says the news is “a wish granted.” More than 400 people have pledged more $73,000 of the $155,000 needed to move the Depot near Western Illinois University’s Quad Cities Riverfront Campus on River Drive in Moline.
“I’m as giddy as a little child,” says Diann. “It’s just like Santa Claus has come and brought the biggest present. It is so exciting.”
News 8 obtained a letter from the Governor’s Office at 4:30pm on Tuesday, December 18th, which states – “I have directed the Illinois Department of Transportation to help you accomplish your mission, and cover the remaining Moline portion of the costs associated with moving the depot to its new home on the WIU Quad Cities campus.” Later on, it reads – “IDOT will cover the local remaining portion up to $82,000.”
The Depot has to get out of the way for a new I-74 Bridge, and was going to be torn down.
Some, though, may not be on board. Illinois’ budget deficit is reportedly one of the worst in the nation. So, where this money is coming from, is still unknown.
“I’m not sure exactly where they’re going to come up with the money, but you’re only talking roughly $80,000 on a $1.2 million budget item to relocate the Depot that’s in the transportation budget so if you look at it the whole pie, $75-80,000 is pretty small,” says Moline Mayor Don Welvaert.
“All I know is we’ve got the money and that we’re going to be able to save that building,” says Diann. “Preservation so many times is on the losing end and you don’t have very many victories. This is one of them.”