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City Utilities is moving ahead in its plans for a new bus transfer station. At Thursday’s (last night’s) closed session, CU's Board of Public Utilities decided to start negotiations to purchase property in the new spot, which is in the area of College and Main in Springfield. If those negotiations are successful, CU plans to build and relocate its Bus Transfer Station. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has more.
The proposed area is about 3 acres right in downtown Springfield, much bigger than the existing bus transfer station at the intersection of McDaniel and Patton. According to a press release from CU, five separate parties own the property. Joel Alexander, spokesman for CU, says if the new site comes to fruition, it might become more than just a bus transfer station.
“The new site, there are some discussions of ‘Can you make other community partners out of this?’ such as a police department, or any other areas that might be able to have space within this new facility. We’re exploring that. We want to see what we can do to not only have something that might be for the transfer station and bus passengers, but also for the community as a whole.”
He says the current station is about 25 years old, and could use some updates. He also says that CU would like to purchase larger, more efficient buses in the future, and those buses wouldn’t work with the limited space at the station.
Alexander says the approved site will work to meet the needs of the new station, but says the utility isn’t set on moving there just yet. Board members are still considering other options before making any final decisions.
“This all goes back about six years when the FTA, the Federal Transit Administration, provided us a grant. So we have a little over three million dollars in grant money through two separate grants that have been provided by the FTA to help City Utilities construct this for the community. We’ve gone through three different transfer station site studies.”
Alexander says the first site CU had to back out of because of eminent domain issues. The other two are possibilities, but he says the newest site is sort of a “light at the end of the tunnel” for being able to actually build the station.
Alexander says the project will probably not be completed for at least another 18 months.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.