Parkville to start restoration on historic train depot

PARKVILLE, Mo. — A highly-visible landmark in Parkville will be getting a face lift soon with the approval of new roofing for the historic Parkville train depot building. 

During a Tuesday, Feb. 16 meeting, the Parkville Board of Aldermen approved a construction services agreement with Midwest Storm Restoration for approximately $26,000 to replace the decking and roofing materials on the depot, located off Highway 9. The city’s insurance carrier, Midwest Public Risk, will cover a portion of the cost due to hail damage on the north side of the roof.

However, the decking currently on the roof has been in place since before the flood of 1993, when the depot was partially underwater.

At a finance committee meeting held earlier in the month, committee members requested additional background information on the depot and its maintenance and expense records. The Cathy Kline Art Gallery became the main tenant after the city negotiated several rent decreases with the Parkville Chamber of Commerce.

The depot was built in 1889 and served as Parkville City Hall for many years.

“I conducted something of an informal poll, and people are more attached to that depot than I expected,” said Parkville alderman Jim Werner, who said he had previously been somewhat torn on the city’s obligation to the structure.

Since the city obtained the depot from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in 1990, several restoration efforts have taken place, including repairs after the flood of 1993. During the flood, when the depot served as city hall, a hole had to be cut in the roof to rescue essential city records and documents from the flood waters.

Repairs and restorations were often funded through grant monies, and the terms of those grants require the city to own and maintain the depot through at least 2025 or risk being forced to pay back those grants.

Werner said since the city has this obligation and the depot seems well-loved by residents, it should be taken care of.

“If we had maintained it right, maybe we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in now,” said Parkville mayor Nan Johnston, pointing out the laundry list of needed repairs to the building, which include not only the roof, but also gutter work, wood rot repair and painting.

Parkville alderman Dave Rittman said the depot is an important part of the city’s history and as such should be maintained and maintained well. In the future, he said, the depot could become an attraction of its own and be included in city marketing.

The board also discussed the implications of taking on a sewer system client from outside the city limits.

The West Park Addition lies just off Highway FF, in unincorporated Platte County and within the Platte County Regional Sewer District jurisdiction. However, the Parkville sewer line is closer to the property and as such the owner would prefer connection to the city line.

Currently, the six buildings located in the addition are on septic systems. The owner, H&H Septic Service, provides the city’s on-call sewer cleaning and repair services.