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Funding Puzzle Coming Together

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The Farmville Herald

PRINCE EDWARD – The Prospect Depot may have the last major piece in its funding puzzle.

County Economic Development Director Sharon Carney noted an opportunity to apply for a grant through the Tobacco Commission's Southside Economic Development Program for $99,018.57.

“What this would do for the project-the Prospect Depot-we've been working really hard to get it done,” Carney said. “It would supply all of the match that would be needed for the project to move forward. We could get it done, get it built and have a great trailhead there and (it) would be great for the community and…for the county itself.”

She added, “So it's kinda like the carrot we've been looking for for a long time.”

Supervisors unanimously agreed to authorize the submittal of the grant, approved a resolution of support required for grant submittal, and authorized the board chairman and/or county administrator to sign the necessary documents.

The Depot project has $501,000 in Virginia Department of Transportation grant funding and the Prospect Historical Society and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have chipped in $60,998 towards the match in funds.

The estimated cost for the depot construction (a 2010 figure) is $668,000. With the Tobacco Commission funds in place, there would still remain a projected balance of $6,983. Carney noted there are other contributions in-kind that they have been verbally given permission for-a list that includes the installation of the septic system, stone, hauling, donated cabinets.

“…That's just with some minor recruiting,” she said. “And I feel confident that we can recruit the other $7,000 in donations to complete the funding. Or, if the project bid proposals come in less than the $668,000, then we wouldn't have to meet that.”

The heavily fire-damaged building is planned to be used as a ranger office and a rest stop for those on the High Bridge State Park trail, offering running water. It is also expected to afford space for those visiting the trail with horses to park their vehicles, and provide an area for a small museum/meeting area for the community.

The County is serving as the fiscal agent for the project and supervisors approved a $40,000 change to the budget to green-light plan development at their August meeting. Those funds will be repaid to the County.

The new depot is expected to appear much as the original structure when it's complete.

The original building dates to at least 1854. Several Civil War books reportedly refer to the station at Prospect as a place that federal groups congregated before marching to Appomattox and it appears on maps showing Grant's pursuit of Lee.

While General Lee did not come through Prospect, General Sheridan did, looking for Lee's supply train.