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Porterdale enhances historical ambience with boxcar

PORTERDALE -- It was a big undertaking, but the city of Porterdale got it done with a lot of help from their friends. A boxcar donated by the Norfolk Southern railroad now sits on its own rails adjacent to the Porterdale Depot.

According to City Manager Bob Thomson, the city received word of the donation early in 2012, but taking care of logistics and funding to get it to Porterdale has taken awhile. But he said it was important that the boxcar be in place near the town's former depot, also undergoing restoration.

"We wanted to complete the historic look of the area and also provide some space for those who will be using the water trail and walking trails," he said.

The boxcar will be renovated for use as a restroom and changing area.

The transportation of the boxcar to the site was funded through a grant.

"Luckily, Newton Trails received a grant from the Porter Fund that paid for the entire move," said Thomson. "CSX railroad brought it to Conyers and we contracted to have it brought in by truck from Conyers."

Thomson said the rails for the project were donated.

"Through assistance of General Manager Dave Bishop with the Great Walton Railroad he gave us the rails which saved us over $10,000," he said.

Thomson said the city is eager to begin refurbishing.

"By the end of the year we want to have the exterior done," he said.

Interior work will be funded through a portion of the $250,000 federal grant the city has received for work on the trail. It will also help fund interior work on the depot, which will be used as a welcome center and display area.

Comments

Newtownqq 1 year, 8 months ago

Enough is enough!! Grants to fix rail cars into some type of tourist attraction? Please I went through Porterdale the other day and can't begin to tell you of the poor road conditions, and the number of vacant homes and unkept lots make it look like a section 8 war zone!! When will people understand the hard facts that their are going to be some "toys" we will have to go with out in order to fund projects we need like repairing bridges and roads!

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Chris 1 year, 8 months ago

Road and bridge repair is a public expense funded by tax money. Grants from private foundations are not tax money. They are gifts from generous private benefactors. We are lucky to recieve them, as foundations receive many more worthy requests than they can possibly fund. The development of local parks,recreation and tourism promotes business activity and increases local tax revenue for things like...roads and bridges. I would much prefer to spend weekends hiking, biking, and kayaking - and spending money at local restaurants, bike shops and outfitters in Newton County than having to travel to neighboring counties and states. We can deride the economic benefits of recreation at our own expense, and those who embrace it elsewhere will be smiling all the way to the bank. At least we'll still have our poor roads, vacant homes and unkempt lots. These restrooms will also support the farmer's market and other public events that bring money into Porterdale and help raise the standard of living for residents and tourists alike. For those who spend any more time in Porterdale than "driving through it the other day," this will be a welcome improvement.

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Newtownqq 1 year, 8 months ago

There was a $250,000 Federal Grant taken!

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Chris 1 year, 8 months ago

Good point; I overlooked that. Nevertheless I feel we are better off accepting it and improving the community than leaving it on the table to go someplace else. That is $250K coming into Newton County,and by most measures we need all the help we can get. If passing it up would directly reduce the federal deficit or something similar I might agree with your overall point, but I don't believe that would happen. The money would just go to another applicant.

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John 1 year, 8 months ago

Let see, I think you said let's spend Fed money on anything even though the Federal Government is already $16 trillion (and growing) in debt. Some how that type of thinking got a whole lot of households in trouble (i.e.especially those that didn't save for a rainy day) when the economy crashed and it has affected every home owner in the US and if we don't start curb spending for "niceties" every person in the US will be affected. The time to stop frivolous spending was yesterday but there is group that really does not believe it. I am fortunate to have lived, worked through and survived at least four recessions before this one - good basic training for surviving financial hiccups.

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inthemiddle 1 year, 8 months ago

The reality is that the feds were going to spend this $250,000 somewhere. If porterdale turned it down, another community would have accepted it. Porterdale accepting or turning down the grant has no bearing on the deficit. I would rather the $250,000 go here rather than somewhere else.

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CW 1 year, 8 months ago

Sounds like wasted money to me. The government should be looking for viable ways to reduce our national debt instead of handing out monies like this.

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