Railroad museum needs cash

June 08, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

An official with the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum asked Sharpsburg officials for financial help Monday night because more than $31,000 is needed to finish the project.

Delays and other circumstances beyond the group's control have caused the project's cost to be far more than original estimates, according to a letter the museum's vice president, Denise Troxell, presented to the mayor and Town Council at Monday night's meeting.

"We're running out of cash. I don't have a good speech prepared because I wish this wasn't happening, but it is," Troxell said.


The group has used its savings and most of its grant money, but still needs $31,037 to finish restoring the former Antietam railroad station west of Sharpsburg into a museum, Troxell said. That does not include the cost of fencing the state requires.

The town has spent $10,375 on the project, Troxell said. The museum has invested $53,000.

Troxell said $125,000 has been spent and the final total should be around $160,000.

After a motion to give the group $31,000 failed with only two yes votes, council members decided to meet Wednesday night to discuss how the town could help.

Sharpsburg officials will meet at the train station at 7 p.m. Wednesday to take a tour before going to Town Hall to discuss the matter further.

Councilmen Russ Weaver and Jeffery Saylor voted to give the group the money.

Vice Mayor Ralph Hammond and council members Patti Hammond, J.W. Eichelberger and Marjorie Jamison raised their hands to indicate they would have voted against donating $31,000.

"I'm for helping. I'm for making it part of the community," Ralph Hammond said. Hammond said he wanted small, local organizations to be able to meet in the museum.

Ralph Hammond expressed frustration that the project has been repeatedly delayed.

"We need to put this thing to rest," he said.

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