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MURPHYSBORO — Murphysboro City Council members plan to approve drafting a letter to the owner of a landmark train depot in the city, alerting him that he has two weeks to remove scaffolding from the property and two months to repair and place its roof and windows.

The recommendation is expected to be made by members of the council's Public Improvement Committee, which has been discussing the issue over the past few weeks.  The building was built in 1888 as part of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad line; it was later part of the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad before the company left the line in 1977; the building was eventually bought by a group of Murphysboro businesspeople, who turned it into the first of about three restaurants, according to Jackson County historian Mike Jones.

Discussion and a vote are expected at the council's monthly meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at City Hall Council Chambers, 202 No. 11th St.

That building and its future have been in the news in recent weeks, as council members voted 6-1 in April to proceed with plans to tear down the depot; after a public outcry, council members reconsidered their plan, deciding to wait to see what would develop from a group of concerned citizens planning to make outreach to the owner.

The building is owned by Martin Schaldemose, whom city officials have described as being challenging to work with; during that time, Schaldemose said he was not interested in help from city officials or community residents.

Council members also plan to approve the city's 2016 fiscal year audit, done by Kerber, Eck and Braeckel; approve a request from Egyptian Electric to be added to the Enterprise Zone; and OK amendments to the Animal Control Ordinance.

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Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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