Parkville Train Depot’s future uncertain

With the approval of a new license agreement between the Parkville Chamber of Commerce and City, the future of the historic Parkville Train Depot and museum may be in question. At the Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday evening, the Board unanimously passed an agreement tabled at the Oct. 15 meeting. In 2012, the Board approved an amendment to the lease agreement reducing the monthly rent from $550 per month to $450 per month through the end of 2013, after which time the rent would have gone up to $600 per month. Instead, the Chamber has asked the rent be further reduced to $400 through 2014. “The Chamber argues that it does not have adequate resources to fund $7,200 of annual office rent charges and to achieve the other objectives of the Chamber,” City Administrator Lauren Palmer said in her report. Additionally, the Chamber has asked for changes to its obligation to operate the train history museum located within the Depot. As very few people visit the museum, the Chamber asked for more flexible hours of operation for the museum, or to make it available by appointment only. “If the museum is closed, City administration recommends that this be done in coordination with the City to ensure proper disposal of the collection,” Palmer said. As previously discussed by the Board, the closure of the museum and potential closure of the Depot itself as a City icon is problematic, though the building itself needs substantial work. With the approval of the amended contract, the City will now have a year to decide the fate of the museum and the depot building.