The locomotive that has sat at Lum Park for more than 40 years will stay put, at least for a little while.
The Brainerd City Council Monday, reacting to a request from a railroad museum in Chisago City to buy the locomotive, decided to keep the locomotive after learning that Rhythm of the Rails was interested in the locomotive for its proposed theme park.
The council received a letter from Erik Thompson of the Ironhorse Central Railroad Museum in Chisago City asking to buy the locomotive for $5,000. The locomotive, which was used to bring other locomotives in and out of the Northern Pacific Railway shops in Brainerd, has been deteriorating, Thompson noted.
Bob Endres, a member of a local retired railroad workers group, has offered to restore the locomotive at no cost to the city. However, there would be cost in removing asbestos from the boiler.
Jody Crowe, executive director of Rhythm of the Rails, said the group's first priority is securing the hole located on Washington Street across from Franklin Junior High School as a site for the theme park. That land is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. After that the group would seek to acquire the locomotive, he said.
"It really is an icon of this town," Crowe said. "I think it really needs to stay here."
In other action, the council:
Adopted, by a 5-2 vote, a business subsidy agreement with Stock Building Supply, which plans to build a store at the Northern Pacific Center. The 12-year agreement, which is part of the JOBZ program, calls for Stock to receive about $2 million in tax benefits from the city in exchange for creating 14 full-time jobs that pay at least $9 per hour, excluding benefits.
Voting against the business subsidy were council members Mary Koep and Bob Olson, both of whom couldn't support a tax break for a company that would be competing against other local business.
Called for applicants for a term through Jan. 1, 2007, on the Parks and Recreation Board.
Was informed by Tom Fitzpatrick, city attorney, that Rooster Marccarelli, owner of Rooster's Bar in downtown Brainerd, won't appeal the council's Sept. 28 decision to suspend his liquor license for five consecutive days beginning Wednesday. At the Sept. 28 hearing, the council found Marccarelli did violate city codes Aug. 14 by allowing alcohol consumption and open alcohol containers in the bar after 1:20 a.m. and people other than employees to be in the bar after 1:30 a.m.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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