Breckenridge council gives nod for locomotive at Wellington lot | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge council gives nod for locomotive at Wellington lot

ROBERT ALLEN
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” Breckenridge town council on Tuesday gave the nod ” by a 4-3 decision ” to install historic Locomotive No. 9 in the Wellington parking lot.

At $192,000, the option was the most expensive of four. Council members reasoned the location between Main Street and the gondola will serve to increase visits to north-end businesses and reflect the community’s emphasis on historic preservation.

“I really would like to see us work on the north Main Street vitality,” Mayor John Warner said. “It almost creates, like bookends, for what I think is a killer core from Adams down to Watson.”

The steam locomotive is known as a town icon, having brought people and supplies on a narrow-gauge system into Breckenridge from 1884 through 1937.

The train’s arrival will be part of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Breckenridge’s founding.

Town staff members and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance will work together to prepare the site, where the the locomotive will be housed under a metal shelter with gables.

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Town officials this year have discussed other options, including placement in a more central location and at the Rotary Snow Plow Park.

Dissenting council members on Tuesday said they preferred to have the locomotive at the Rotary park, under a similar shelter at $133,000.

Councilman Eric Mamula said he disagreed with removing about 20 spaces from the Wellington lot to allow for the locomotive and that the location isn’t appropriate.

“I think it is contrived, and I think it is forced,” he said.

Councilwoman Jen McAtamney, who supported the location, said it will help lure visitors into town after a day of skiing.

“I think we have something special, and we need to let people know … that we’re really a historic place,” she said. “I believe we will find a way to make up the parking spaces.”

Council member Jeffrey Bergeron, who was against the Wellington lot site because of parking, agreed with Warner and others that private contributions of $40,000 should be raised to help pay for the project.

Bergeron suggested the slogan: “Don’t be a caboose. Kick into the locomotive.”

Town spokeswoman Kim DiLallo said Wednesday that the project likely will be under way in the spring to be complete next summer. She said that though the locomotive is expected to be in town by April, it will depend on when the Colorado Historical Society delivers it.

In other town news, council appointed J.B. Katz and Dan Schroder to the Breckenridge Planning Commission and re-appointed David Pringle.

Amy Evans and Thomas Kramer were appointed to the town’s Public Art Commission.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.

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