AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Santa Fe Depot, located in downtown Amarillo, will now have water and electrical utilities, coming after the Amarillo City Council unanimously voted to pass a measure installing those things at the site during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
According to the agenda from Tuesday’s meeting, the city entered into a contract with Tri-State General Contracting Group, INC for $102,870 for the demolition, site preparation, security and installation of water and electrical utilities at the Santa Fe Depot. Officials said in the agenda item that the aim for this project is to “better serve as well as accommodate various events, vendors and clients such as the WRCA”
Jerry Danforth, the city of Amarillo’s director of facilities and capital projects, told the council during the meeting that previously, the city would get water for livestock animals for the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show, or for the Working Ranch Cowboys Association’s World Champion Ranch Rodeo, through fire hydrants near the site. They were also in a similar scenario with power, getting power from other sites and bringing it to the depot, or having individuals use generators. The goal of the measure was to fix the long-term problem of getting water and power to that site.
The project will tap an existing meter that is on the Depot’s site and then, officials will then open a trench along Grant Street with four frost-free hydrants that are connected to the meter, Danforth said. A 400 amp service in power is also expected to serve the need in the area during various events. Danforth said the funding for this project will come out of funds from hotel occupancy taxes.
This will also impact other events hosted at the Santa Fe Depot. Beth Duke, the executive director of Center City of Amarillo, spoke during the meeting about how this measure could improve events Center City hosts at the space, coming after the Amarillo Community Market was hosted multiple times at the site.
“I think this is a great way to take advantage of this wonderful property that the city already owns and make it more open to community use,” Duke said.
Multiple city council members expressed their support for the project, with Cole Stanley saying that it was “money well spent.” Amarillo City Councilmember Eddy Sauer also said this project could improve the Santa Fe Depot as a whole.
“It seems to me that this actually opens up for (the depot) to be used more effectively,” Sauer said. “It may actually give other opportunities that we wouldn’t have ever been able to use it for.”
During the meeting, the council had a lengthy discussion on an additional measure impacting the Santa Fe Depot. This additional measure, if approved, would add a new events pavilion at the site. According to the agenda memo, the pavilion would cost $1, 581,751 in the current form it was presented on Tuesday.
However, with some suggestions on how to improve the facility, along with changes on how the facility and its amenities could be used for, from councilmembers, the council opted to table the measure on Tuesday, choosing instead to host a special meeting Friday to further discuss the measure. That meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday at Amarillo City Hall.