Meeting Minutes – October 8, 2011 – Jackson


OCTOBER 8, 2011

Those Signing In:  Hugh Gurney, Barry Adams, Gilbert Smith, Burt Ten Brink, Norma Ward, Dick Pekarek, Larry Krieg, Jim Hinkins, Wallin Gitn, Dan Platz, Dave Randall, Bob Tischbein, Don Monteith, John Langdon, Kathleen Newell, John Guidinger, Clark Charnetski, Diane Patterson, Robert Paterson, Rick Ware, Marie Ware, Cathy Hart, Kay Chase, Jim Wallington, Larry Sobczak

Also Present: Bill Simmons, Qingpeng Zhang, Belua Bouwsma

Call to Order:  Chairman Tischbein called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. and introduced Drayton Blackgrove.

Videographer:  Drayton Blackgrove, a member of the Friends of the Jackson Michigan Central Station, discussed his video projects and suggested that MARP produce videos for viewing on the internet.  Every time someone clicks on our box, MARP receives revenue.  This has been successful inJackson.

Welcome to Jackson:  John Guidinger welcomed the group toJackson.  The Friends of the Jackson Michigan Central Station is a loosely organized group dedicated to the preservation of theJackson depot, the oldest continuously operation railroad station in the nation.  When Guidinger first arrived inJackson in the 1970’s, the station was painted in Penn-Central green and needed much work.  Over the years, successive projects have helped bring the station back closer to its original appearance.  The station has now been reroofed and operating downspouts installed.  Windows in unused areas of the building have been boarded over and painted.  Historic architects are now planning the next steps with a $938,000 grant received in 2010.  Plans to convert the complex to an intermodal transportation center were completed in 2010.  It will take around $20 million to implement these plans.

Guidinger has also been very much involved in the restoration of the Jackson Michigan Theater, an ornate structure with a seating capacity of 1400.  The building once again shows films and hosts community events.  Funding is still an issue.

In response to a question from Charnetski, Guidinger stated that allNorfolkSouthern property including the yards and spur rail lines will be acquired by MDOT when it purchases the Dearborn-Kalamazoo line from NS.  All union jobs will be retained.  After the repairs to the line in August and September, trains are running on time again.

Committee Reports;

Amtrak Thruway Connection Committee:  Gurney continues to gather information and thoughts for the proposed web report, “Getting Around Michigan by Train and Bus”.  He plans to list every community inMichigan that has intercity train and/or bus service. Wallington hopes to set up a meeting with Indian Trails in the near future.

Route Enhancement Committee:  Several members inWest Michigan have met to discuss updates to the 2007 Route Enhancement Recommendations.  Gurney invited all to attend a review of these over lunch today at Wendy’s, which is located in the rehabilitated New York Central Freight House.

Port Huron/Sarnia Blue Water Subcommittee:  Tischbein is in e-mail contact with a number of individuals.  Two groups inToronto have asked to be involved.

All Aboard Ohio:  No report.

Old Business:

            Ann Arbor-Detroit Commuter Line:  No progress to report.

Durand Union Station:  Pekarek reported that Durand Union Station is having financial difficulties.  The museum was closed most of the summer because of water damage from burst pipes.  Attendance was poor at the spring Railroad Days, a major fundraiser, because of poor weather.  Langdon noted that MARP had donated an additional $400 to help DUSI.  Ward reported with pleasure that long awaited improvements to the parking lot at Durand Union Station have been approved.

New Business:

            The Michigan Passenger:  Langdon moved that: “the Chair write a letter to J. R. Valderas stipulating that he would be paid $400 for the fall issue of The Michigan Passenger only if completed and sent to the printer by November 1, 2011.  This letter should be sent to Valderas by U.S. Mail.”  Gurney seconded the motion.  After discussion, including the fact that several train shows were coming up in November,  the motion was approved by the members present.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.

Respectfully Submitted:                                             Accepted:

Hugh D. Gurney                                                         Robert Tischbein

Secretary                                                                     Chair