LIVE OAK — The City of Live Oak Amtrak Committee held a VIP event at the historic Suwannee Depot Station at 210 N Ohio Ave. Aug. 11 to bring together supporters for the revival of the Live Oak Amtrak stop.
There were 75 RSVPs for the event, and city councilman Keith Mixon spoke to the crowd about Live Oak’s possible future with Amtrak.
He said the purpose of the event was to raise support in the community for Live Oak to become a railroad stop for Amtrak. To raise support, Mixon laid out the All Aboard Live Oak campaign that argues the city is a perfect fit with the railroad company.
The campaign says that Live Oak would bring a positive economic impact for both Amtrak and the city, which is in a prime location as well as a hub for tourism with a rich history.
“We’re prepared, folks,” Mixon said.
The Amtrak committee is comprised of representatives from multiple organizations, including the city and county, economics development agencies, the transit authority and the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce.
Some members of the committee attended a meeting in Jacksonville the next day to meet with Amtrak representatives.
Kim Smiley, a member of the Amtrak committee and CRA project specialist, said the event gave members of the committee who have not been inside the depot station the opportunity before heading off to Jacksonville.
Originally built over a hundred years ago, the depot station—should Amtrak make Live Oak a stop—will reopen and be used by passengers once again.
Alvin Jackson, economic development director, said Amtrak would be an economic boom to the city and downtown. It will increase tourism and bring rich economic resources to Live Oak, he said.
Larry Sessions, Suwannee County commissioner and member of the Amtrak committee, said bringing Amtrak to Live Oak is going to take a cumulative effort.
“Everybody in the community needs to come together,” Sessions said. “It’s not just about the committee.”