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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Nice to see the truth in print. Thanks to the PA News for speaking truth to power.

I intend to write the reporter and thank him for exposing that lieing Councilman for what he is and the rest of the spineless Council for what they are.

At least the taxpayers ( must be a few if them left) of this derelict community now know the truth.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3878
Location: Maine
I've posted my comment in the newspaper's response area.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 420
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Ross, I don't think you have lived in the small town south for a while. In fact, not just the South. MOST small towns are run like this. And there is A LOT of controversy and bickering. All the time. I can think of another situation.....The Nevada Northern and their city related woes. If you followed that one it was the same kind of cluster f*** of personality and power.

As I said in an earlier post, Jason and company just got in the way of an otherwise done deal that the good citizens of Port Arthur would have shrugged their shoulders at. A few would have felt bad about the loss of the 503, but most would have not cared one way or the other.
co614 wrote:
Nice to see the truth in print. Thanks to the PA News for speaking truth to power.

I intend to write the reporter and thank him for exposing that lieing Councilman for what he is and the rest of the spineless Council for what they are.

At least the taxpayers ( must be a few if them left) of this derelict community now know the truth.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:57 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:20 pm
Posts: 487
Pretty good comment on page 24:
Jeff Terry wrote:
Has anyone suggested a no cost (or low cost - say $1 a year) lease, for a term of at least 25-30 years? Engine can still go to Texas State, then to Florida, and PA can still say that they own it. It's worked so far with Northern Pacific 328.

Jeff Terry


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:48 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
A few random thoughts:

Where does this stand now? Has the funding raised by Jason been returned or are they holding it for a possible revised outcome regarding 503? When the City asked for proposals on the engine, does that mean they would consider Jason's original proposal to take the engine out of Port Arthur to preserve and operate? Or will they only consider proposals that keep the engine in Port Arthur?

I would like to see a poll of Port Arthur residents to see whether they want to spend money keeping and preserving 503 in their city versus letting 503 go to the cause of future operation in another location.

Has the City laid out a plan for considering proposals including a deadline, and the criteria that will be used to judge them?

In recent discussions, it was suggested that the plan to remediate soil beneath 503 would entail using a crane to lift the engine off the ground so the excavation and soil correction could be accomplished, and then lower the engine back down on a new piece of display track. Would that be easier than pulling the locomotive out of the way, remediating the soil, and moving the locomotive back to its original display site?


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:37 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Ron, go to the link in the very first posting on this thread, click on it and it will take to the GoFundMe page where you'll learn all the latest plans Jason has for this effort.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:33 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
Ross,

I did look at that latest information from 3/7, and I gather that the funds are being retained and that fundraising continues with the intention of funding Jason's proposal, which I assume is essentially what he was proposing before the City listened to residents' desire to keep the engine in Port Arthur.

However, I do not understand exactly where the City Council left this matter at the conclusion of the 3/6 meeting. I did watch that meeting, but do not want to dig through it again to find answers that others may have picked up on. So that it why I ask here.

Generally, I had the impression that the City would only consider proposals for plans to retain the engine in Port Arthur. And also, I do not recall any mention of a formal process for considering the proposals, nor of a specific timespan over which proposals will be considered before choosing one, nor whether there is a condition that all proposals may be rejected.

Also, there is the question of what the City will do if they reject all proposals for various reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:21 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Bottom line is that the City Council said they will issue an RFP for proposals from both those citizens who spoke at the meeting saying that they would mount an effort to fund the engine staying in PA and others.

Since then the PA News has published an article that gives an accurate timeline of the events leading up to Jason's GoFundMe last second rescue and the article clearly shows that Councilman Harold Doucet lied through his teeth and got called on it.

VERY clear to me that the Mayor and Council are determined to find a way to keep the engine in PA and if need be they'll spend taxpayer dollars to do it. I was shocked at the 90 minute display of abject incompetence displayed at that special meeting and have advised Jason to stop wasting his time, refund the donations and move on. He can be pleased that he won the major victory of saving the engine from being scrapped.

Jason is determined to wait for the RFP ( Lord knows how long it will take for these clowns to issue it ? ) , submit his proposal and see what happens. I admire his tenacity but sometimes one needs to face reality and recognize a lost cause.

That's the latest and greatest.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:30 pm
Posts: 41
The city is broke. They just found out the water department budget is going to come up $1.6 million short. Oops. They are looking at having to raise rates.

Port Arthur water utilities swimming in debt
http://m.panews.com/2018/03/13/port-arthur-water-utilities-swimming-in-debt/

Port Arthur water utilities by the number
http://m.panews.com/2018/03/13/port-arthur-water-utilities-by-the-number/

So the engine had the jacket taken off. So it's going to need a new jacket, right. And they need it moved to remediate the soil. Offer to store it for them for "free" of charge until they figure out what they are going to do with it and have a plan for it's preservation with the funds needed. Then use the funds to move it to where ever Jason was going to move it to. The remaining funds can be kept to go to whatever is going to happen with the engine.

Then the city can clean up the site, come up with a plan and raise funds. And the engine will be safely stored so it won't be scrapped.

And then as they say, out of sight, out of mind. Wink, wink. Maybe then at a later date there can be as somebody suggested a token $1 long term lease or maybe even a sale after it's been forgotten about.

But the city of Port Arthur isn't in the engine restoration business and has no money. If the citizens want to come up with a plan and the money, great. But I think after they find out how much it costs, they may suddenly lose interest. Wouldn't they like to have a nice jungle gym or something for their park for less money than an engine. Maybe the engine could be sold for the cost of the jungle gym or whatever they would like.

Think win win. The engine gets saved and the citizens get something for their park at no cost to them.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:23 pm 
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Posts: 710
Location: MA
I like the idea of moving it for free off-site to the original railroad museum it was to be stored at. When the city is done cleaning up they can pay to move it back, can't pay then the railroad museum will start charging storage fees. Fees don't get paid then railroad museum gets ownership.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:05 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 359
Mr. Sobczynski stated in his March 7th 503 video update that he has been encouraged "by several City Council people" to participate in the RFP process so it is premature to infer that the Mayor and Council are determined to keep 503 in Port Arthur. Some Council members did state that they wanted to keep their train, but the remainder did not really voice an opinion one way or another (except for Councilmember Moses who indicated, in absentia, that 503 should not remain in Port Arthur).

Additional Port Arthur taxpayer dollars are already being spent to keep 503 in Port Arthur. The original contract between the City of Port Arthur and Inland called for 503 and the tracks under it to be removed and the area around it in Bryan Park to be abated of asbestos and oil. All that was to remain was a freshly planted area of grass at a cost to the taxpayers in the amount of $23,760.00. At the 3-6 special meeting, the termination of this contract prior to full performance by Inland was implicitly approved and the City Manager was given a blank check to arrange the temporary relocation of 503 so that the remaining abatement of the soil can be accomplished by the amended deadline of April 20. Now, the end result will be an abated site (asbestos and oil) with a plinthed 503 remaining in Bryan Park. The taxpayers will have to make Inland whole for work completed prior to the contract termination as well as any costs incurred by Inland in reliance on the original contract - such as equipment rental. The taxpayers will also have to pay for the temporary relocation of 503 and the remaining abatement. It will be very interesting to see what this new total cost will be relative to the original $23,760.00 contract price and how this amount will be presented to the taxpaying public.

Mr. Sobczynski is very wise to follow the lead of those familiar with the local political tides and will no doubt cast his line when his likelihood of success is greatest.


Last edited by Scranton Yard on Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:44 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
Scranton Yard wrote:
Mr. Sobczynski has stated that he has been encouraged to participate in the RFP process so it is premature to infer that the Mayor and Council are determined to keep 503 in Port Arthur. Some Council members did state that they wanted to keep their train, but the remainder did not really voice an opinion one way or another (except for Councilmember Moses who indicated, in absentia, that 503 should not remain in Port Arthur).


As I recall, the council did not seem to stipulate that the RFP had to be for keeping the engine in the City. But when you say that Jason has been encouraged to participate in the RFP process, do you mean he has been encouraged by the City Council? Or does he mean that he has been encouraged by supporters in the funding?


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 359
Ron Travis wrote:
Scranton Yard wrote:
Mr. Sobczynski has stated that he has been encouraged to participate in the RFP process so it is premature to infer that the Mayor and Council are determined to keep 503 in Port Arthur. Some Council members did state that they wanted to keep their train, but the remainder did not really voice an opinion one way or another (except for Councilmember Moses who indicated, in absentia, that 503 should not remain in Port Arthur).


As I recall, the council did not seem to stipulate that the RFP had to be for keeping the engine in the City. But when you say that Jason has been encouraged to participate in the RFP process, do you mean he has been encouraged by the City Council? Or does he mean that he has been encouraged by supporters in the funding?


Thanks for pointing out the lack of clarity in my post. I have edited the first paragraph of my original post.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:39 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
Okay Scranton Yard. I see your clarification. That is a good sign that the Council encouraged Jason to participate in the RFP process.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3878
Location: Maine
As people familiar with steam locomotives, it's my belief it is incumbent on us to write to the city council, explain in an manner they can accept, why the higher road is to turn 503 over to people who know locomotive. Telling them how they are wrong or stupid, or going to heck in a hand-basket, is going to get the exact opposite result. There is a win-win exit to their problem. Show it to them.

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