Opp mayor asks for $250K in donations to complete depot

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Some $250,000 needs to be raised by June 14 to ensure the renovation of the L&N Depot project is complete by the July grand opening, Opp Mayor Becky Bracke said Monday.

The total project is set to cost the city $762,500.

The city was awarded a $400,000 grant through the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) for the project. The grant requires a 20 percent match from the city of Opp.

Bracke reminisced about the time when a train would stop for passengers and forest or textile products on the way to Graceville, Florala or Georgiana.

“Imagine the time when the sound of the train whistle announced its approach and invited anyone within hearing distance to travel to far off places,” she said. “Imagine the smell of coal smoke and sound of the bursts of steam powering the locomotive. Hear the murmur of passengers as they wait to board and then the shout of ‘All aboard’ as the conductor urges hast to keep the train on schedule Imagine you are there for your morning commute to a nearby town.”

Bracke said while the hustle and bustle of the train and the textile market has stopped in Opp, the Depot, which was built in 1928, has a bright future.

“It is undergoing restoration and renovation after being left vacant for many years,” she said. “Like so many other buildings of its kind across Alabama, it is being repurposed. It will house historical artifacts, the Chamber of Commerce, and a Welcome Center. Imagine its future as a gathering place for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, town hall meetings, concerts and other events.”

Bracke said for those things to happen, the city needs to raise additional funds.

“This is where you, as a dedicated current or former citizen of Opp, can play a vital role,” she said. “This money will be used to complete the structural changes and add landscaping, lighting, furnishings, and other amenities that will make the Opp Depot a facility that you can be proud of.”

There are several levels of giving for those interested in making a donation:

  • Railroad Baron: $10,000 or more;
  • Engineer: $1,000 to $9,999;
  • Conductor: $500 to $999;
  • Fireman: $250 to $499;
  • Steward: $100 to $249;
  • Passenger: $10 to $99

Donations are tax deductible.

Make checks payable to the City of Opp.

Deadline is June 14.