I'm writing in response to a story published [in January], "Amid legal tangles, volunteers restoring ..."
I’m a volunteer with the Golden Spike Chapter of the R&LHS in Ogden. Our volunteer crew responsible for restoring the Denver & Rio Grande Western steam locomotive #223. Our restoration operations are based in the Trainmen’s Building at the Union Station.
Since Jan. 1, Ogden city has kept our volunteers from entering the restoration shop to continue our work on the 223. We’ve been told that an occupancy agreement needs to be issued. We understand that due diligence on Ogden city’s part takes time. Our group’s concern is the amount of time this process is going to take. With the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike, local celebrations, and the national convention of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society coming to Ogden in May, our crew has little time to prepare. These events need to be successful. Not only for the historical impact, and the community, but our fundraising and ongoing efforts to restore the 223. Without being able to work, and prepare for visitors, we believe that we will miss a key opportunity raise money and awareness about our restoration endeavors.
Placing additional time, “baby-steps” and bureaucracy between volunteers and work does not benefit anyone. We remain optimistic, but our goal is for a swift resolution with Ogden city. We encourage Ogden city to do the right thing, promptly complete the occupancy agreement and unlock the doors.