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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:40 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:27 pm
Posts: 53
Since the 503 has not been scrapped I am satisfied that the mission has been fulfilled.

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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:58 am 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
meixel wrote:
Since the 503 has not been scrapped I am satisfied that the mission has been fulfilled.


Well, what I was asking about in my previous post was what the terms of the fundraising agreement actually are. I would guess that not everybody who contributed feels, as you do, that the mission has been fulfilled simply because the scrapping was averted.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 1:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 470
Location: Winters, TX
Just noticed that there is no link to the GoFundMe campaign in this thread, so here it is:

https://www.gofundme.com/help-save-the- ... friends-of

I think MargaretSPfan hit the nail on the head in her assessment. It seems that public relations and legal advice would have been of tremendous help in this matter. In giving credit to the saving of the 503, I would add JayZee who first alerted us to the plight of the 503 by posting a link to the newspaper article and to the 1200+ contributors to the GoFundMe fund. Had only a few thousand dollars been raised, I think we would be shaving with razor blades made from the 503.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:33 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
Clearly, the general goal of saving the engine from scrapping was to be a consequence of purchasing the locomotive, moving it out of Port Arthur, and restoring it to operating condition at a new home.

From reading the stated mission, it appears to me than none of the stated objectives of the mission have been met, including this one:

“If we are unable to fund the immediate purchase and movement of 503, all donations will be refunded or forwarded to a railroad preservation organization of the donor's choice.”


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 2:39 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5419
Location: southeastern USA
Two things:
1. it isn't over yet
2. Even if it were, Jason and Nick have masterminded the most successful failure in American foaming history by getting the funding he needed by crowdsourcing. This is nothing short of revolutionary in our industry.

Let's wait until it is over before we start to worry about refunds. No amount if legal help or PR can make up for shifting sands of reactionary politicians and emergent community activists. When it is over - if she doesn't get moved for restoration and stays in the city - then would be the time for an accounting and refunds.

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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 3:59 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
I am not calling for any action to declare the process to be over. I am just curious about the terms and how they define when it is over. I am sure others have asked the same question.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 4:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings....but she just got up to clear her throat so I'm guessing the end is very near.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 6:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 217
I'm going to say a few words and I believe they are very telling of the current dilemma regardless of how you feel. Jason is clearly juggling too many projects at once for it appears it's starting to catch up with him. He was overconfident of what he could achieve and it backfired much to the disappointment of the observing preservation community. I'm not saying that all is lost but am I saying somewhere there was a severe breakdown in planning. We've all experienced similar situations in the past, this is not a one time event.

I know many of you previously have reached out to Jason and given him your unconditional support, I ask that you keep doing so but mindful of the politics around you. As a man of politics I can assure you that this will not be an easy process, it's stressful and very costly. At this point however if this project is to succeed then you must have trust in the city council's ability to fulfill their duties accordingly. A few months ago we all thought this locomotive was going to be scrapped today she's still with us. We'll get there give it time.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 1:31 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:18 pm
Posts: 70
Charlie --
Thank you very much for the compliment. Much appreciated!

To all --
Nothing, and I mean nothing can ever happen if no one organizes people to do something. Jason apparently does not know this, and that is why he has not been able to buy and move the 503.

And the 503 is not truly saved yet. No, she has not yet been scrapped (which I hope never happens!), but all that has really happened so far is to maybe put off the date when she may meet her doom. So there is still hope.

And no one knows yet whether or not she is in good enough condition to be practical for the usual all-volunteer group with limited financial resources to restore to full operating condition. A full Form 4, on top of all the other work needed to put her back into first-class condition, will be very expensive -- I think at least $500,000 -- and will take years.

So the $67,000 Jason and Nick have raised with their GoFundMe campaign is great, but that is only a small down payment on what will be needed to get the job done.

In any case -- “Where there is life, there is hope.” But people do need to be very practical and realistic. Passion + hope + practicality + being realistic = success.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:29 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:55 pm
Posts: 14
With all due respect, I think you are nicking pits here...

As I understand it, Jason's mission was to purchase the locomotive, get it out of PA, and get the pieces staged for the next step which is to start restoration.

As part of Jason's mission, a non-profit would have been formed to undertake the restoration of the locomotive - and the ownership of the locomotive would then be transferred to said non-profit.

Everyone understands the undertaking that it would take to restore 503 to operational condition, both from a financial and manpower standpoint. I don't believe for a second that it has not been thought of. In fact, I think a home has been found to operate her once in operational condition, but as we all know, the railroad industry is very dynamic. What is said now could have no standing ten years down the road.

I am not siding with Jason or anyone here, but as an outsider looking in, it seems that a bunch of people are harping on Jason to do this, that, or that. The money is not his, it is sitting in escrow in the form of 'GoFundMe' and he cannot withdraw it for his personal use nor can he designate it as a donation for the new 'Friends of 503' organization that wants to keep 503 in PA. The GFM that he has developed specifically states the mission and I don't believe GFM allows any change in how the money is spent. If the mission was "Help us save 503!" with no outlined plan for the future of the locomotive if the mission is successful, then I suppose the money could go to the 'Friends of 503'... But right now everything is in limbo, and will move at the rate that government does... So it would be prudent to be prepared to react, once the board makes their decision regarding the fate of 503.

I certainly hope that the City of PA does not have intention to 'hold onto the locomotive' until the GFM has dissolved, then they will decide to dispose of 503.... But I also think that the board members of PA have learned the hard way that if they piss off the voters of PA, they are going to be burnt come election day.

For now, I think all we can do is wait... And keep an eye on the press. If anyone lives close enough to PA to attend board meetings to evaluate the health of the 503's future, then that may be a valuable asset in getting your information ASAP.

Regards,
Mike Walsh


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 11:50 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
The fat lady is singing and nearly to the end of her song. The end is nigh!!

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Pacific, MO
All politics is local. The board will sway to the wind that will get them re-elected. They have to live there.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:25 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1315
If most fund contributors are satisfied that the mission has been achieved by preventing 503 from being scrapped; why not use the funds to reach out to the City of Port Arthur and offer to help restore the locomotive and properly display it in a well-designed, protective enclosure? I think that proposal would be immediately accepted by the owners of the engine.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 1:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 359
Last night, 5-22-18, the Port Arthur City Council had another regularly scheduled Executive Meeting and Regular Meeting. Nothing that was overtly related to 503 or the Bryan Park Property was discussed. They did pass a number of resolutions relating to economic and community development, in particular, they passed their new PA Comprehensive Plan, "Imagine Port Arthur". Hopefully, Mr. Sobczynski is working closely with his remaining supporters on the Council so he understands what impact, if any, these plans will have on the Bryan Park property. Unfortunately, based on Mr. Hovey's post on 5-16, this does not appear to be the case.

One ordinance that passed which may be of interest is Consent Agenda Item (9):

"P.R. No. 20254 — A Resolution Authorizing The City Manager To Enter Into An Agreement With HHM & Associates, Inc., Of Austin, Texas For The Development Of Design Standards And Guidelines For The Designated Historic Sites, Districts And Zones In The City Of Port Arthur, Texas With A Projected Budgetary Impact Amount Of $30,186.39. Funding For This Agreement Will Be From The FY2017 Texas Historical Commission Certified Local Government ("CLG") Grant In The Amount Of $15,000.00, With Required City Participation Of $15,186.39 Available In Development Services/Planning Professional Services Account No. 001-1051-517.54-00"

Again, Mr. Sobczynski may want to find out if the City's interest in historic sites, districts, and zones is related to 503. If 503 is designated a historic site, or the area including 503 is designated a historic district or zone by the City, it is extremely unlikely that 503 would then be transferred to an entity for removal from PA.

Time favors those in Port Arthur and the Gulf Region who desire that 503 stays in Port Arthur. A wait and see approach, without any proactive effort geared towards raising awareness, building a coalition, and guiding 503's tenuous situation towards a permanent solution, will yield a low probability of success.

The GoFundMe donations were raised on the questionable claim that, "The locomotive is currently the property of the environmental remediation company contracted to conduct the demolition." Inland had salvage rights commonly inferred in construction contracts that require demolition and removal. Under its original contract with the City, it was to demolish 503 and remove and properly dispose of what remained. An intact 503 was not the property of Inland. So while the fundraising effort was indeed a pleasant surprise, it appears that it was based on Mr. Sobczynski's misunderstanding of the rights of the City, Inland, and Mr. Sobczynski relative to 503.

Fundraising should probably not have begun until Mr. Sobczynski secured the salvage rights to 503. This could have been accomplished by promptly executing a written contract for an option to purchase 503's salvage rights from Inland for a fixed price. The purchase of an option would have required upfront funding of only a small fraction of the ultimate purchase price of the salvage rights. Once said option to purchase was executed, Mr. Sobczynski should have immediately and without delay began dismantling 503 to prepare for transport. The more pieces 503 was in by the time the City got around to issuing the stop work order and ultimately modifying the contract with Inland to eliminate the demolition and removal of 503, the more leverage Mr. Sobczynski would have had.

Finally, the GoFundMe monies were donated for the purchase of 503 and the removal of 503 from Port Arthur such that it could be stored in a safe place which would enable further planning and work towards an operational restoration. I do not believe that Mr. Sobczynski is free to reallocate the funds to a different effort, that is, towards continued ownership by the City with static display in Port Arthur.

Of course, the folks in Port Arthur and the Gulf Region are free to start their own GoFundMe page for 503. I believe Mr. Beard already has a crowdsourcing page up for 503. It will be interesting to see how successful crowdsourcing for a static restoration plan in Port Arthur will be.


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 Post subject: Re: L&A 503
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 7:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1702
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Seems very obvious to me that the City Council has zero intention of working with Jason. They don't even extend to him the courtesy of including the 503 as an item for discussion on the recent meetings agendas.

Pretty obvious that it's time to move on. The main objective of saving her from being cut up has been accomplished.

Let these small thinkers do their thing and stop wasting time on them.

Enough is enough.

IMHO-Ross Rowland


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