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Bedford Mayor, State Officials Celebrate Completion Of Downtown Depot
Updated May 19, 2017 6:45 AM
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Bedford Mayor Girgis, State Officials Celebrate Completion Of Downtown Depot With Ribbon Cutting.

(BEDFORD) - Mayor Shawna Girgis joined state officials in cutting the ribbon on Bedford's Downtown Depot, a project funded through Indiana's Stellar Communities Program.

Previously called the Southern Indiana Railroad Station, the historic, limestone station was physically moved four blocks to its new home at 14th and J streets. The Downtown Depot will serve as Bedford's community and tourism information center.

"I am deeply grateful for this historic day when we celebrate the achievement of the vision articulated in Bedford's downtown to relocate and restore the historic Southern Indiana Railroad Station," Mayor Girgis said. "We are especially grateful for the investment of the Indiana Department of Transportation, Bedford City Council, Redevelopment Commission, our local investors, and the Bedford Urban Enterprise Association that donated the depot. We're thankful to everyone that was involved in this project; you all will forever have a place to celebrate our limestone and railroad history, as well as promote local tourism and healthy living."

Stellar Communities allows Indiana's smaller and rural communities to plan and fund development while minimizing financial burdens. The program combines funds from three state agencies: INDOT, the Office of Community and Rural Affairs and Indiana Housing and Community Economic Development Authority. OCRA and IHCDA are part of a portfolio of agencies overseen by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch.

"Seeing the Southern Indiana Railroad Station relocated and preserved gives me great pride as someone from Southern Indiana," Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch said. "It's a historic structure built from limestone that not only Bedford, but the State of Indiana prides itself on. This project is an example of how Stellar projects can increase the quality of life for a community and preserve the history of our state."

Bedford applied in 2011 and 2012 before receiving Stellar funding for its projects in 2013. The Downtown Depot is one of three Stellar Communities projects in Bedford. The INDOT funds for relocation of the railroad depot also went towards improvements to the city's Limestone Trail System and downtown streetscape.

"This project showcases how state agencies and local municipalities can work together to bring purposeful development to a community," INDOT Commissioner Joe McGuinness said. "Stellar projects are meant to be the catalyst for future development and investment in communities, and INDOT is glad to have to opportunity to partner with Bedford and help in its efforts to give this historic railroad depot new purpose."

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