Hillsborough’s Amtrak station has officially been assigned funding by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and the town is working to put specific plans into motion.

The town devoted a meeting to the topic in late January, where Mayor Tom Stevens says one of the focuses was how to best utilize the space.

“The clock has started ticking, and in that case we need to start deciding [what to do],” says Stevens. “The town is going to end up owning this building, and there will be a lot of extra space in it. What are we going to use that building for?”

Stevens says the land surrounding the proposed site is of equal importance, as the town purchased it around a decade ago.

“The town back in 2008 or 2009 purchased 20 acres knowing we would want to have some skin in the game about how this area in the central part of town gets developed,” says Stevens. “Now’s the time to start thinking about that.”

A task force assigned to find the best use for the land reported several conceptual ideas back to the town, though none were officially accepted.

The town has five years to complete the project with the DOT funding.