On January 22, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Lewiston-Auburn Railroad Company, which is owned by the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, will be awarded a $200,000 Recovery Act grant to rehabilitate the Grand Truck Railroad Station. The historic building has suffered deterioration over the years and requires substantial rehabilitation in order to house interested business tenants.
“This investment will allow this historic renovation to move forward and promote development in the Lewiston-Auburn area,” said Congressman Mike Michaud. “This renovation work will create jobs, and it will add to the area’s ability to attract businesses and increase economic activity.”
Known as “The Depot” for Lewiston & Auburn Railroad, the Grand Trunk Railroad Station was Lewiston’s link to the Canadian National Railway system. Thousands of French-Canadian immigrants passed through building, which has been described as the “Ellis Island” of Lewiston.
The building, which has been vacant for about 40 years, is in need of significant renovation. Expected renovations will include new heating, plumbing and electrical systems, as well as new water lines, sewer lines, sprinkler systems, and lead abatement. The restoration of the building’s exterior will also be undertaken, including the installation of new windows and doors. The grant announced today will help make these upgrades possible.
The funding announced today is being provided by the Recovery Act through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG) . RBEG funds can be used for start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of their grant agreement. More information about USDA Rural Development can be found at www.rurdev.usda.gov