Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Letters to the editor

February 12, 2003

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to your article of Feb. 5 with the headline, "Annexing has Midland, City at odds." The article states that the City of Baldwin wants to annex the Midland property west of 12th Street and implies that the Midland Railway Historical Association is not cooperating with the City. There are two separate issues; utility licenses and annexation. Please allow me to clarify the facts.

First, last year the City and the School District approached Midland about running utilities under the railroad's right-of-way near Elm Street. Midland has offered licenses similar to but, in fact, more flexible than others that are used on Midland's right-of-way. We are negotiating in good faith to conclude agreements consistent with the rights bestowed by the railroad's property ownership and the need to conduct its operations as a common carrier by rail under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Corporation Commission.

The second issue, annexation, will be discussed at the Council meeting on April 8. Midland has taken no position on this and, therefore, cannot be "at odds" with the City.

Other comments in the article imply that some Council Members believe Midland does not "embrace" the community. The Midland Railway Historical Association, an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization, has worked closely with Baldwin City businesses and organizations since acquiring its line in 1987. Typically, Midland attracts at least 10,000 passengers, including more than 800 Boy Scouts from throughout the Midwest. Last year, the "Day Out With Thomas Event" attracted about 16,000 additional passengers. Thus, Midland's activities brought more than 26,000 tourists to Baldwin City in 2002. In addition to funding the maintenance and improvement of Midland's facilities and the historic Santa Fe Depot, expenditures by these visitors as well as Midland and its volunteers brought direct benefits to community businesses. Midland also works with other not-for-profit organizations and in 2002 contributed more than $17,000 to Baldwin City volunteer groups. We value greatly our mutually beneficial relationship with the community and will continue to nourish it.

Sincerely yours,

Michael K. Fox, President

To the editor:

Wow, what a fun time we had on the evening of Feb. 8. The Baldwin City Community Theatre performed "Nunsense" and it was a fabulous show! Please make time to take your whole family. My six-year old, my mom and I laughed until our cheeks hurt. Show your support to these talented actresses and their crew. Here in Baldwin, we are so fortunate to be able to see a show of this quality. Thanks for the hard work and the laughs, Baldwin Community Theatre members! "Nunsense" was great! Remember your support raises funds to keep BCCT going.

Christina Madl

Baldwin City

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