The US government shutdown has officially put the brakes on progress for the Ardmore Main Street Depot Park development.
The City of Ardmore and the Ardmore Main Street Authority are currently in a holding pattern as a log jam of grant applications continue to pile up as a result of the shutdown.
Ardmore and AMSA officials recently met with a federal grants administrator from the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department as part of the application process, after the AMSA deeded the park to the city back in August specifically for grant approval purposes.
“They needed to do a site visit on where the Depot Park would be and we said, ‘It’s a big pile of dirt right now, but okay,’” AMSA Chairman Todd Yeager said. “They were happy to see the train. The grant has stopped with the government shutdown. The funds are federal. The idea was to have all the paperwork lined out and ready to go and in the pipeline when the government opens back up again, so then the grant can move forward.”
Yeager said that once the grant application was approved by the state, the proposal would be moved to the federal level.
“The only thing we are still trying to hammer out — and Landplan is working on that — is soil preservation,” Ardmore Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said. “It wasn’t a problem, it was a clarification.”
Yeager said June 1 was likely the earliest the grant application could be processed;  if not then, early September would be the next opportunity.
“So that’s where we are, just getting everything ready for when things open back up and we can start moving forward,” Yeager said.