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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Fostoria Ohio railfan park.


Date: 02/28/09 14:36
Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: EL-SD45-3632

I have been told the "grant" money that the city of Fostoria was planning on receiving to build the park will not come to be. One of the reasons given is that the "grant money" would be better spent for some other project that would have a better return for the donated money. That's to bad because from what I saw in the papers it would have been a nice park to visit and view trains.



Date: 02/28/09 16:04
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: SVTS

And it would be a great reason to come visit the town, but I guess the last thing a town like Fostoria wants is money spending tourists crowding up empty hotels and resturants. Somebody from Fostoria really should take a trip to Folkston and learn a valuable lesson about the benefits of a railfan park. And if I am not mistaken, Fostoria sees far more traffic than Folkston.

Chris Bogley
Bowie, MD



Date: 02/28/09 17:38
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: MSchwiebert

It's not like the railfan community is waiting for a park/viewing platform before deciding to come to Fostoria - it's been attracting fans for decades without one. Realistically speaking how many fans would say "I'd go to Fostoria - but they don't have a railfan park"??



Date: 02/28/09 17:46
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: toledopatch

Well, whose decision was it anyway that Fostoria shouldn't receive the grant? The responses above make it sound like the city made the decision, but I suspect otherwise.

In any case, I agree that Fostoria doesn't need to have a railfan park to be attractive to most railfans. The main benefit of a park is that it's friendly to train-watching FAMILIES in a way that gravel lots next to the tracks aren't -- it's easier to set limits on young'uns when you've got a park with well-defined boundaries.



Date: 02/28/09 18:15
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: ChessieRR

We can still come for the meth, right? So at least they have something to keep the town going with the grant money not coming.



Date: 02/28/09 19:57
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: RFandPFan

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In any case, I agree that Fostoria doesn't need to
> have a railfan park to be attractive to most
> railfans. The main benefit of a park is that it's
> friendly to train-watching FAMILIES in a way that
> gravel lots next to the tracks aren't -- it's
> easier to set limits on young'uns when you've got
> a park with well-defined boundaries.


Well said Toledo. If you look at the visitor's log and watch the people who come to Folkston a great many of them are families and not railfans. I've spoken with quite a few parents who heard about the platform and brought their kids to watch the trains. I doubt the thought of coming to Folkston would have occured to them otherwise.

Also, having a platform, scanner, wifi and restrooms encourages railfans to spend the entire day, and for many to stay for multiple days thus filling hotel rooms. And I'm not even counting the ones that camp out overnight in their cars.



Date: 02/28/09 23:48
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: SVTS

MSchwiebert Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's not like the railfan community is waiting for
> a park/viewing platform before deciding to come to
> Fostoria - it's been attracting fans for decades
> without one. Realistically speaking how many fans
> would say "I'd go to Fostoria - but they don't
> have a railfan park"??

I again point to Folkston for the answer. Many people may not give some locations a second thought till they hear theres a park or platform for railfans. That was the reason I went to Manchester, GA a few years ago for thier railfest held in October every year. They have a platform which meant I could go there and watch trains without being hasseled. Such a place leads to other ways to bring in tourist, such as being able to advertise what you have and being able to hold events for railfans similar to what has happened in Folkston and Manchester, GA. Many people visit Folkston because of the platfrom. Families can bring kids, and you can sit under protection even under a hot Georgia sun. You can grill if you want, and a batroom is on site. Without the platform, your sitting in your sweltering car, holding in the 3 bottles of water you drank because you don't want to leave your spot and drive or walk the few blocks to McDonalds. Look in the trade publications. Many cities advertise the platform: Jesup, Manchester and Folkston, GA and Rochelle just to name a few. Clearly people in Fostoria are under the impression this is a waste of money. People thought the same thing of Tom davis when he said he was going to open a railfan B&B in Cresson, PA. Now if you want to get a room there in the sring, summer, or fall, you better do so months in advance or you are SOL. Currently, the best Fostoria can do is invite people to sit in a dirt lot if I'm not mistaken. I've never been there, but that probally closely sums up the emenities. Would it stop me from taking a detour this summer while I attend the train festival in Mich., no probally not, but when your traveling with a soon to be 8 year old, it helps to have a safe and credible place to watch trains.

Chris Bogley
Bowie, MD



Date: 03/01/09 06:42
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: tihess

I'd like to know what the "other project" is that the money would be better spent on



Date: 03/01/09 06:54
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: 251F

SVTS Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
but I guess the last thing a town like
> Fostoria wants is money spending tourists crowding
> up empty hotels and resturants.

Not so, the city is well aware of its rail heritage and wants to use it as a draw for visitors.

http://www.fostoriairontriangle.com/railPARK.htm

As a west coaster who spends a precious few days each year in Fostoria, there is plenty of support within the city of Fostoria and its businesses for the park. But it does seem odd that OhioDOT would pull the plug on support for the project, especially after all the whoopla when it was awarded. It's not like the grant proposal was not well organized.

Times are tough and I'm sure Columbus is looking anywhere it can to find money, even from well deserved grants.

Daniel (in Kaleeforneeya)



Date: 03/01/09 07:02
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: MSchwiebert

What we don't know is the terms of the grant money - if it's a 'use it or lose it' and the site tabbed for the park isn't ready no one can blame them for shifting it somewhere else. As a parent with young children (9 and 6) I can understand the need for those locations (I have occasionally stopped at Deshler with the kids in the past) but the point I was trying to make is that Fostoria is already aware of the contributions railfans make to the comunity financially and while having the park in place would bring an incremental increase over what they see now would it be the 'best' use of that money at this time - especially if they possibly do not have ALL the funding in place to complete the project?



Date: 03/01/09 07:27
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: Heath_Tower

If the grant money for the Fostoria railfan park is to be used
elsewhere, what will happen to the donated funds for this park?

Wasn't there a fund drive a few years ago for this project?



Date: 03/01/09 08:00
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: zars

Who said their grant was pulled? I searched the State of Ohio web site and could not find anything about it. Isn't this money from either the Nature Works or Clean Ohio bond funds?



Date: 03/01/09 08:05
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: dti407

zars Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Who said their grant was pulled? I searched the
> State of Ohio web site and could not find anything
> about it. Isn't this money from either the Nature
> Works or Clean Ohio bond funds?

Google came up with nothing either. You're a month off if this is an April Fools joke. :)



Date: 03/01/09 10:31
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: 251F

zars Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Who said their grant was pulled?

Maybe it isn't. Here's an article from the Findlay[Ohio] Courier dated 22 February 2009, scroll down to the "Train Viewing" paragraph.

http://tinyurl.com/b4y89y

Seems grant money won't be available until the next fiscal year starting in October. Plus, reading the articles on the Fostoria Iron Triangle webpage, the funds are actually from federal funds to Ohio, not state funds.

Read the whole article, several more industries are fleeing Fostoria. Sad.

Daniel



Date: 03/01/09 12:01
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: DeshlerRailfan

MSchwiebert Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What we don't know is the terms of the grant money
> - if it's a 'use it or lose it' and the site
> tabbed for the park isn't ready no one can blame
> them for shifting it somewhere else. As a parent
> with young children (9 and 6) I can understand the
> need for those locations (I have occasionally
> stopped at Deshler with the kids in the past) but
> the point I was trying to make is that Fostoria is
> already aware of the contributions railfans make
> to the comunity financially and while having the
> park in place would bring an incremental increase
> over what they see now would it be the 'best' use
> of that money at this time - especially if they
> possibly do not have ALL the funding in place to
> complete the project?


I feel their pain... I drew up a permanent restroom on Autocad for the Crossroads Park with help from a Professional Engineer back around 2001. The bidders knew that we had State of Ohio money... The bids were all 3x plus the grant money. You can get a 2 car garage built with a loft for 1/2 of the price, even at today prices. Needless to say the $ went back to the state.

DRF



Date: 03/01/09 12:55
Re: Fostoria Ohio railfan park.
Author: EL-SD45-3632

I was talking to someone in Marion Oh. about how nice the park in Deshler is, he is one of the volenteers that works the depot/AC tower in Marion and he had heard that the "funds" were pulled and that the "funds" would more than likley be used in other manner that he did not know of.

The man is one of the people that sits on the "M.U.S.A board" and he helped recearch the grant money that Marion received many years ago.



Date: 03/01/09 14:15
Re: RUMOR CONTROL
Author: toledopatch

Hamler-Henry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was talking to someone in Marion Oh. about how
> nice the park in Deshler is, he is one of the
> volenteers that works the depot/AC tower in Marion
> and he had heard that the "funds" were pulled and
> that the "funds" would more than likley be used in
> other manner that he did not know of.
>
> The man is one of the people that sits on the
> "M.U.S.A board" and he helped recearch the grant
> money that Marion received many years ago.


So this entire thread is based on a rumor? Don't state it as fact unless you know it.



Date: 03/02/09 02:43
Re: RUMOR CONTROL
Author: retengr

Folkston has turned into what was previously a nuisance to a tourist attraction which is listed
in the AAA Book among other places. It is suitable for families, railfans and anybody who likes
trains. You can stay for hours or for days, the police officers wave at you rather than hassle
you and the people are just plain friendly. There are one or two pretty decent restaurants
within a reasonable walk, a couple of places where you can get batteries if you are caught short
and there are accomodations there too although I have never stayed in them. It is only a hour
from Jacksonville and if you are headed north, it is not too difficult to get back to I-95 at a
point south of Savannah.
The folks in Ohio could probably turn something that at least some of them consider a negative into
a positive for all both natives, local business plus tourists and railfans from miles away just
like Folkston has done.
I have been to Folkston twice in the past 6 months and spent dollars there both times.
Noel Weaver



Date: 03/02/09 13:54
Re: RUMOR CONTROL
Author: EL-SD45-3632

toledopatch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hamler-Henry Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I was talking to someone in Marion Oh. about
> how
> > nice the park in Deshler is, he is one of the
> > volenteers that works the depot/AC tower in
> Marion
> > and he had heard that the "funds" were pulled
> and
> > that the "funds" would more than likley be used
> in
> > other manner that he did not know of.
> >
> > The man is one of the people that sits on the
> > "M.U.S.A board" and he helped recearch the
> grant
> > money that Marion received many years ago.
>
>
> So this entire thread is based on a rumor? Don't
> state it as fact unless you know it.


It is FACT, He knows someone that knows what's going on. Sorry! I'll choose my words better next time. Don't believe me, check it out Mr. Patch!



Date: 03/02/09 16:16
Re: RUMOR CONTROL
Author: DoctorThunder

I just find it odd that if it were a fact that Mr. Patch wouldn't have heard about it considering his job.

Just a thought.



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