NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced today the award of a $156,800 transportation enhancement grant to the city of Niota for the Depot Restoration Project.
The Niota Depot, which was constructed in 1854, is the oldest standing train depot in the state of Tennessee and presently serves as the Niota City Hall. The Depot Restoration Project will make urgent repairs to the depot’s stone and brick foundation, and restore the baggage room doors. The project will allow Niota to promote this antebellum depot that played critical roles in East Tennessee’s railroad history, the Civil War, and late 19th and early 20th century textile industries.
“Tennessee is rich with historic landmarks such as the Niota Depot, and preserving them for future generations to enjoy and appreciate is important,” Haslam said. “The building’s restoration and adaptive reuse can create a more vibrant and economically sustainable downtown and will bring new visitors to the area each year. We are proud to support these important improvements.”
“Through Transportation Enhancement grants, TDOT has funded more than $270 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”
A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.
State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and Representative John Forgety (R-Athens) represent McMinn County in the Tennessee General Assembly.