LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The discussion of how to save Amtrak services in Greater Lafayette continues among community leaders.
"The $3 million doesn't solve the problem," West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said. "The $3 million keeps the rail as is, but there are several things that need to change."
The biggest issue they're facing now is much needed improvements from Amtrak.
"Not one dime should be spent on that unless there is some kind of commitment and benchmark from Amtrak to provide that upgrade in service and consistency," Tippecanoe County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh said.
Three million dollars can keep the service running after legislation kicks in October 1, but that's just for the four days a week service. Additional funds will be needed to improve the infrastructure, frequency and run times.
West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said tax money could help the train.
"That is one option that is being directly explored, however, I think that we have other options outside of just tax based entities trying to provide the financial incentive to keep the rail line here," Dennis said.
"The county budgets a certain amount of money for economic development and this fits into that perfectly," Murtaugh said.
The cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette along with Tippecanoe County are already planning on putting millions into improving areas around the station next year.
"Along with the county and West Lafayette, we're going to be putting about $3.4 million into that plaza area," Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski said.
Some are hoping the state will step up to cover the $3 million so local communities can focus on improving the service.
"And working to improve rail service and then Amtrak gets on board and does their part to improve service then I would consider financially participating," Roswarski said.
"I would hope that the decisions that come forth from the state would be to fund that three million dollars with the idea that there would be additional funding from the locals that would help the consistency and reliability," Murtaugh said.
If the three million dollars is not raised by October 1, Amtrak services will stop. Until then community leaders said they'll explore ways to find the money needed to keep the trains running.
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