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Ferris wheel donated to Washington Township

October 24, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Washington Township Supervisors were the recipients this week of an unusual gift - a working Ferris wheel.

As of Thursday they didn't know what they were going to do with it. It's been taken apart and is behind the township office building under a tarp.

As Ferris wheels go, this one is a baby. It only stands about 15 feet high and its wheel is only 10 feet across, said Jerry Zeigler, zoning enforcement officer for the township.

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It has four buckets or closed carts, each of which can hold four small children for a capacity of 250 pounds.

The Ferris wheel was built by the Dixieland fun Machine Co. in Fayetteville, Ga.

"We're going to rehab it," Zeigler said. "We'll clean off the rust, paint it and replace any bearings that need it. It has a lot of colored lights around it."

Zeigler said it may be set up in the township's Red Run Park in Rouzerville, Pa. Township Administrator Michael Christopher said it would be a fine addition to the park's kiddie train.

The Ferris wheel was donated by the Mohn family, owners of Funcastle Karts and Amusements at 3054 Buchanan Trail East in Waynecastle, Pa.

The family bought it new in 1996 for more than $15,000, said Rick Mohn, who runs the amusement facility. His parents, Richard Sr. and Darlene Mohn, opened the park.

"It's a great piece of equipment," Rick Mohn said. "We used it for about three years, but it just didn't work out for us. We weren't making a profit with it and the cost of insurance was making it prohibitive."

Mohn said the machine sat idle in the amusement park for about 18 months when his parents decided to donate it to the township. "We spoke about it as a family," Mohn said. "We all live in Washington Township."

He said he, too, thinks Red Run Park is where the Ferris wheel should go.

When Christopher announced at Wednesday's Township Supervisors' meeting that a Ferris wheel had been donated to the township, John Lisko, the township's attorney, said, "make sure our insurance company knows we're going to be Ferris wheel operators."

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