San Angelo - TX - In a special meeting Thursday afternoon, San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter and council members met with the San Angelo Railway Museum Board of Directors asking them to return to council with a short-term improvement plan that includes maintenance and expenses to operate the building.
The museum is housed in the Historic Orient-Santa Fe Depot and its 20 year lease ends in September. The mayor told the board that the plan could be used to negotiate a new lease.
"Dynamics change every year and we need to make sure that one understands you don't get $1 a year leases with no expectations that go with it," says Mayor Brenda Gunter.
"We are talking about a long term lease it's a 20 year lease so we want to make sure on our part that we're doing the responsible thing for our community," says City Manager, Daniel Valenzuela.
"We can come up with something that is of benefit for both groups because again we can put anything into the lease if we both do it in good faith that I think can hold everyone accountable and move us forward and develop the expectations," says District 1 Council Member, Tommy Hiebert.
"We believe in it, we support it, we want it. What it comes down to is a matter of monies and who's in control of spending the monies and who's responsible for what. That's what it comes down to," says District 6 Council Member, Charlotte Farmer.
"I'm very happy with being able to talk directly to the council. We've been working for nine months with the staff and we really haven't been getting anywhere and by talking to the council and having them come to the museum I think we're now seeing where there's going to be some progress made in the negotiations with the lease," says San Angelo Railway Museum President, David Wood.
Prior to Thursday's meeting council members toured the museum and learned about its history.
As of now, no date has been set for the museum board to return to council.
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