Author Topic: Grant from town of Gray fails  (Read 2753 times)

Joe Fox

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Grant from town of Gray fails
« on: November 09, 2016, 07:37:32 AM »
http://www.pressherald.com/2016/11/08/museum-director-says-grant-for-maine-narrow-gauge-railroad-fails/

The article does not say how many votes it had one way or the other, just that the operation may be scaled down some. Hopefully things work themselves out for the operation.

Rick Knight

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2016, 02:59:00 PM »
The vote as of this morning 2757 against, 2078 for. Two comments. Too bad there has never been any real meaningful discussion about the MNG in this forum. IMHO Gray has always been a poor choice. Thankfully the good folks of Gray have shown some common sense.

Joe Fox

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 04:12:38 PM »
In some respects I do not think they have. There is a JUGE surplus of money in that fund. So now that it got voted down where will the money go?

If I was a tax payer I would be asking some serious questions on how a town ends up with over $700,000 in surplus for a fund that clearly sees little use.

Philip Marshall

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 09:51:28 PM »
Too bad there has never been any real meaningful discussion about the MNG in this forum.

I think a lot of us would agree that MNG is in trouble and are concerned for the future of its collection, but hold back on saying so here because it seems impolite to criticize another museum on such a public forum.

Mike Fox

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2016, 12:28:59 AM »
Phillip, I don't think it is like that at all. Anyone that is part of that museum that knows anything does not spill the beans. Their normal daily routines are that. Normal. Not much to talk about. Some members do come on here and advertise the special events. But the details being worked out behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors. Just because nothing is being said does not mean nothing is being done.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

John McNamara

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2016, 12:44:33 AM »
I was very impressed with the talk that Donnie Carroll gave at the National Narrow Gauge Convention. However, there was one element of the presentation that baffled me. They seem to want to pay for others to construct their buildings and their track so that they can attract paying riders on Day 1. The revenue thus received would be used to pay off the loans for the aforementioned construction. The WW&F has been very successful growing in "baby steps," and I think many visitors come to see what's new. If everything is done on Day 1, it creates a huge debt, and undermines the idea of repeat visitation because people have "been there and done that."

I think Gray is a fine choice because of proximity to I-95, to Portland, and probably to their volunteer base. The existence of a possible right-of-way is the frosting on the cake. They are part of the two-footer fraternity and part of the attraction to two-foot enthusiasts (and other tourists) visiting Maine. I think we should help them in any way we can, including building track if they'd let us.

-John

Joe Fox

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2016, 12:54:29 AM »
Not much is said on here because most of what goes on, both at MNG, & our operation are kept quiet.

With that being said they have had two very successful years this season, and last. They have vastly changed the image down there, and things have really turned around in short time.

I shared the article here not trying to be negative, but simply share an update with those who are interested.

Also please note that the two footers are coming together once more to find ways to help out the other, and I mention to our guests that if they have time on the trip back south to visit MNG for a more unique look into Maines past.

Philip Marshall

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 03:23:34 AM »
I'm glad to have my pessimism corrected!

Rick Knight

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 04:57:29 PM »
One of my real major concerns is that the collection, what remains of it, will be used as collateral for a note that potentially can not be paid. A lot of us worked very hard to pay off the original mortgage with the intent that more money could then be invested in the collection for preservation and operation and a location we could call our own. Some of us felt that moving to a location with NO connection to the Two footers and expecting other folks to pay for the move, construction of buildings, trackage, etc. just did not make sense. I am not casting apersions on the MNG. These are real issues IMHO.Using the WW&F as an example there was another way forward. Rick.

Roger Cole

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Re: Grant from town of Gray fails
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 10:16:29 PM »
I know they had BIG plans for the Gray site, but if they have to vacate Portland by the end of next year, I would think their best course of action would be to lay enough yard trackage to hold their collection then work on extending trackage for an excursion train.  A pole barn structure could serve as a shop until they can get established.  Without a wealthy benefactor, incremental growth would be the way to go.