Traverse City Record-Eagle

June 24, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 06/24/2012


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Train decision not best

"Change happens, not always for the good" (from a June 8 Record-Eagle editorial): If the change isn't for the good, why make the change?

The city commission made the right political decision in sending the train to Buckley. They made it appear they were "keeping the train local," ignoring that Buckley isn't even in Grand Traverse County. The fact that the train will be available only four to 10 days a year wasn't important.

Best decision for the city budget: Sell to the highest bidder ($42,000 or $20,500). Had the train been up and operating and bidders could have come, ridden on and operated the locomotive, that dollar amount would have been much higher.

Best decision for the train: Sell it to a place that would operate it at least three months of the year (either of the high bidders).

A train sitting in storage quickly rusts. Both higher bidders have the ability to care for the train; she would've been running this year. The place with the most experience with 1:4-scale steam locomotives: Eden Springs Park ($20,500 bid) has three locomotives, one of which they built on-site in their shops.

Right political decision, yes; correct decision, no.

Donald Frost

Traverse City

The writer is a former engineer of the Spirit of Traverse City.