Museum funding coming in pieces

October 12, 2004|BY BRIAN SHAPPELL

The Sharpsburg Town Council said Monday it would help fund the completion of the model railroad museum by paying for some of the services needed as they come up, rather than in one lump sum.

The town's decision to pitch in comes as one of the museum's top supporters, Denise Troxell, is leaving the group working on the restoration.

The council met with the Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum Inc. Monday and pledged, informally, to help the group finish restoring the former Antietam railroad station west of Sharpsburg for use as a museum.


The council in June opted not to support giving the group more than $30,000.

Councilman Jeffrey Saylor said that approaching the project "piece by piece" would be the only way the town could assist financially.

"Money is a problem everywhere. If we have a major project come up, we could lose everything we have really fast," Saylor said.

Blair Williamson, president of Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum Inc., said about $15,000 of work needs to be completed before the station opens. He said about $9,000 of the total is needed for interior painting.

Williamson said work for some other tasks, including completion of plumbing, electrical and a parking lot installation or improvements, has been awarded to contractors. He said the group has enough money to finish those portions of the project.

"Once those projects are done, that's it for the money we have," Williamson said.

Williamson said Monday that Troxell, the group's vice president, has stepped down, citing health problems.

Troxell could not be reached by telephone for comment on her departure.

Members who attended Monday's meeting praised Troxell for her painstaking efforts to complete the museum project, including obtaining grant money from several groups and negotiating with the contractors needed to complete work at the property.

Williamson said Troxell, a former Sharpsburg councilwoman, will be considered a lifetime member even if she can no longer provide active service to the organization.

Mayor Hal Spielman said Monday that the town would take over the responsibility of a bond Troxell took out, in her name, to pay for a letter of credit from a bank. The letter of credit, for about $4,000, was required by the state to ensure that a portion of the project was being done to state specifications, Williamson said.

The Herald-Mail Articles