By Hank Inman
On November 29 consulting engineer Richard I. Ortega visited Saltillo to examine the East Broad Top Railroad station. FEBT commissioned Mr. Ortega to perform an engineering assessment of the present condition of this historic building and to recommend feasible options for saving, rehabilitating, or reconstructing the building. Donations to the FEBT fund–raising campaign received in September and early October provided the funds necessary to underwrite the cost of this assessment, which represents only the initial stage of the work that must be completed before any site work can be undertaken.
Mr. Ortega, who is a registered architect as well as a structural engineer, has performed similar assessments of historic buildings and engaged in numerous historic preservation and architectural conservation projects throughout Pennsylvania; he has served as a consultant to both the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Mr. Ortega was one of three structural engineers recommended to FEBT by the PHMC's Bureau for Historic Preservation. While all three expressed interest in the Saltillo project and were well–qualified to perform the required work, geography, cost, and availability convinced the FEBT executive committee to choose Mr. Ortega to handle the engineering assessment of the Saltillo station building for us.
During his site visit Mr. Ortega examined the exterior and interior of the station building both of which have already been documented by FEBT. In addition to assessing the current condition of the station's walls and roof structure, Mr. Ortega spent more than a half–hour under the floor of the building inspecting the foundation and floor supporting structure. We expect to receive a preliminary draft of Mr. Ortega's written report at the end of December. The final version of his report will serve as the basis for further discussions with the East Broad Top Railroad about the building's future and with representatives of agencies and organizations who may provide grants for future work. We also intend to make Mr. Ortega's report available to FEBT members via the FEBT web site and/or the Timber Transfer.
The initial response to the fund–raising campaign Friends of the East Broad Top launched in August has been excellent. FEBT restoration fund treasurer Nancy E. Jacqmin reports that as of December 1, she had receive over $16,000 in donations to the FEBT Restoration and Development Funds. This total includes $101.53 from Microsoft matching a donation from FEBT member William Blomgren, but it does not include $675 in matching donations we expect to receive from American Express, Boeing, Caterpillar, National Starch and Chemical, and Verizon to match donations we received from Geoffrey H. Hamway, Philip J. Padgett, Steven R. Krause, Alan H. Bolles, and Jeffrey M. Slupski respectively.
Most donations came from FEBT members, but we have received donations from nonmembers stimulated by information on the FEBT web site or advertisements in the December issues of Railfan & Railroad and Trains, the winter issue of Classic Trains, and the November–December issue of Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette. The spring 2002 Classic Trains will again include the advertisement for our campaign, and we expect to receive additional editorial notice for our fund–raising campaign in future issues of Railfan & Railroad, Trains, and Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette.
As good a start to our campaign as this is, we still need your support. For the past several years we have included a return envelope to solicit end–of–the–year contributions in the December FEBT Newsletter. We continue that tradition here. Please take a moment to help us continue the momentum our campaign has established by using the enclosed envelope to mail us your tax–deducible contribution. Of course donations are always welcome; your donation should be mailed to us at the following address:
FEBT Restoration Fund Treasurer
513 Shady Avenue, No. 12
Pittsburgh PA 15206–4447
Remember that donors who send us contributions of $50 or more before August 31, 2002, will receive a full–size reproduction of Ted Rose's Mount Union Train. All directors and officers of Friends of the East Broad Top thank you again for your donations!
By Robert R. Farquharson
FEBT Vice President
At its November meeting, your board of directors adopted several changes to the membership and dues structure of Friends of the East Broad Top. The board began the process leading up to these changes early in 2001 and presented the subject for discussion at the 2001 business meeting. Many factors were considered in arriving at a balanced result.
The new dues rates enacted by the board go into effect immediately for all new members. Current mem bers except those with mailing addresses outside of the US will not be affected by the changes until the end of 2002 (unless they become associate or life members). In brief, the basic membership level has been dropped and a new associate membership added. All existing membership classifications will see an increase in annual dues: The dues for regular members increases $5, from $25 to $30; for family members the increase is also $5, from $30 to $35. For student/senior members the increase is $7, from $18 to $25; and for sustaining members the increase is $10, from $50 to $60. The annual dues for the new associate membership is $100. A new surcharge of $5 has been added for student/senior, regular, and family members with foreign mailing addresses. The board also raised the one–time payment for life membership $100, from $400 to $500.
During the coming year, every current FEBT member may renew his or her membership once more at the old dues rates starting with the members whose memberships expire on December 31, 2001. (All renewal reminder notices mailed during the coming year will indicate the proper dues amounts for current members.) Thus for current FEBT members the new dues rates will first come into effect for the renewal cycle starting for memberships that expire on December 31, 2002.
The changes were necessitated by the evolving challenges facing FEBT:
All of our restoration projects compete for limited resources available to FEBT. The funds used for work on these projects come both from donations and funds generated internally from events and Company Store sales. However, over the past several years some of these internally generated funds have supplemented dues income to cover our operating costs primarily the publication of The Timber Transfer and newsletter and museum operations (including costs associated with maintaining the buildings in Robertsdale). We anticipate that implementing the new membership and dues structure will reduce this subsidy by approximately one–half, thus freeing these funds for other pressing needs. Members who renew at higher membership levels can provide further support for FEBT operations.
FEBT is a diverse and vibrant organization. By publishing the Timber Transfer we explore and document the history of the EBT. Through the FEBT Company Store, EBT modelers have access to unique and hard–to–find products. Our museum will serve as a place to interpret the history of the EBT for the general public. Our archival and research collections will allow historians and students of the EBT to examine its history. We have an ambitious restoration program, limited only by the resources available. Your support, through your membership payments and donations, will allow us to reach all of these goals.
FEBT members may be interested in a comparison of operating expenditures to
which dues are applied in 1994 (the first year in which the last increase in
dues took effect) and 2000. Ignoring depreciation, the actual operating
expenditures in 1994 for our education program, our museum and its collections,
publications, and general business expenses were $3,319.46, $1,284.94,
$8,765.74, and $12,369.75 respectively. In 2000 these same operating expenditures
were the following: $1,751.02, $8,317.96, $13,528.57, and $8,932.25. The
dramatic increases in the costs we incurred for museum operations and publications
are obvious. Of particular relevance to Bob Farquhar son's comments, in 1994
dues covered 69% of the $25,739.89 total cost of these FEBT operations. In 2000,
however, annual dues covered only 59% of the $32,529.80 we incurred for these
same programs. Another way of looking at this is that between 1994 and 2000 the
operating costs for our museum and its collections, education program,
publications, and general business expenses increased about 26%, while our
income from annual dues payments increased only 8%.
–Henry F. Inman, FEBT president
The Nominating Committee for the 2002 election asks FEBT members to submit the names of potential candidates for nomination and election as directors of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. In the upcoming election, to be held during the first quarter of next year, FEBT members will elect five of the nine members of the board of directors. The seats up for election are now occupied by Reginald Arford, David C. Brightbill, Thomas A. Diehl, Jr., Ron Morgan, and Craig A. Williams. The four remaining board positions not up for election during the current election cycle will be the subject of the 2003 election; David S. Bucher, Robert R. Farquharson, Henry F. Inman, and John R. Snyder now hold these seats.
FEBT directors are responsible for the management and governance of Friends of the East Broad Top. The president, vice president, and secretary are elected annually by the Board from among its members. Among other duties, directors maintain oversight over the work of all FEBT officers and staff volunteers; develop and enforce policy guidelines for all operations and activities; direct the preparation and submission of reports required by applicable federal and state laws and regulations; set fund–raising goals and support fund–raising efforts; and determine budget priorities and spending limits.
Any individual FEBT member in good standing is eligible for nomination by the Nominating Committee, whose chairman and members select the final slate of nominees presented to FEBT members for election as directors. (Individual members include regular, family, sustaining, life, student, senior, and basic FEBT members.) However, a member in good standing may also qualify for automatic inclusion in the final slate of nominees if he or she submits a nominating petition signed by 100 FEBT members in good standing.
The members of the Nominating Committee for the 2002 election cycle are David S. Bucher (chairman), James G. Mersereau, and Douglas C. Taylor. Dave Bucher has been a member of the FEBT board of directors since 1992; during his tenure he has also served as vice president and secretary. Dave has coordinated our work on the reproduction trucks for combine no. 16 since work on this project began. A FEBT member since 1989, Jim Mersereau played an instrumental role in the development of our current fund–raising campaign: His suggestion that we find a way to use Ted Rose's painting Mount Union Train to obtain funds for our restoration program provided the stimulus for our campaign. Doug Taylor has been a member of FEBT since 1983, but his interest and experience in railroad preservation and restoration go back to the early 1960s, when he worked in the car shops and as an engineer on the Mount Washington Railway. Doug's HO/HOn3 model railroad, incorporating both the EBT and the Pennsylvania Railroad, has been featured many times in railroad modeling publications.
The names of potential nominees and nominating petitions must be submitted to
David S. Bucher, Chairman
FEBT Nominating Committee
1409 Dodd Drive
Downingtown PA 19335
Telephone: (610) 518–2244 (home)
The deadline for submitting names of potential candidates for nomination to the Nominating Committee is January 15, 2002. Nominating petitions must be received no later than January 21, 2002.
Nomination and election of directors are governed by the corporate bylaws of Friends of the East Broad Top, Inc. FEBT members may obtain copies of the FEBT articles of incorporation and bylaws by sending a 57¢ stamped, self–addressed envelope to
John R. Snyder, FEBT Secretary
12 Pheasant Drive
Hershey PA 17033–9792
John R. Snyder, who has served as manager of the FEBT Company Store since September 1999, reminds FEBT members of his plan to retire from active involvement in the day–to–day management of our mail–order sales operation. While we search for a successor, John graciously continues to serve as the contact point for current orders to the FEBT Company Store. Orders are now filled by FEBT member Wade N. Woodcock, who for the past year or so has assisted John as a member of the Company Store work group, but Wade has indicated that he is unable to assume responsibility for future management of the Company Store.
The FEBT board of directors and its executive committee are exploring various options for future operation of the store, but if you have any interest in helping us manage this FEBT activity we once again encourage you to contact John directly. John's mailing address is given elsewhere in this newsletter, and he can also be reached by e–mail (preferred) at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (717) 533–4439 (home).
The newsletter mailed to FEBT members in August contained two small errors which while minor we correct here for the sake of accuracy. First, the correct cost of purchasing the Robertsdale post office and land was $11,000 (not $12,500 as stated in the August newsletter). Second, the correct date for the William Adams photo of the interior of the Saltillo station building is August 1999 (not 1998 as stated in the August newsletter). We apologize for any confusion these errors may have caused.
The most recent issue of the Timber Transfer was mailed to all FEBT members in late October, and most FEBT members report receiving it in November. Because of uncertainties in the delivery of mail caused by recent events, however, some copies of this issue may have lost. If you have not yet received this issue of our magazine we invite you to contact FEBT membership coordinator Peter A. Clarke for a replacement copy. Pete's mailing address is given on the last page of this newsletter, but he can also be contacted by telephone at (301) 482–1136 or by e–mail at email@example.com.
Unfortunately, publication of the next issue of the Timber Transfer, scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2001, will be delayed until after the new year. Because of past production delays the date of publication stated for each issue of our magazine does not correspond to the actual date it is printed and mailed. While this has caused unfortunate confusion, our purpose is to assure FEBT members that publication of the Timber Transfer will eventually return to its intended production schedule. To accomplish this editor Kevin C. Strong hopes to produce five issues instead of four each of the next several calendar years until we're back on track.
For this plan to work, of course, Kevin needs material to publish. In fact, past delays in publication of the Timber Transfer were caused by the lack of publishable material on hand. Thus if you're frustrated by the lagging publication of our quarterly magazine, the most useful assistance you can give us is to contribute articles, notes, photos, and drawings related the East Broad Top Railroad for publication in upcoming issues. All inquiries and contributions should be directed to the following address:
Note: You can find an updated address on the
Timber Transfer Page. – webmaster
Kevin C. Strong, Editor
The Timber Transfer
242 Wadsworth Avenue
Avon NY 14414–1130
Telephone: (716) 226–8499 (home)
We take this opportunity to remind all FEBT members that they receive all issues of the Timber Transfer and FEBT Newsletter published during the four calendar quarters of each membership year. Members who received only three issues in past years may feel short–changed, but the &qiot;extra" issues we intend to produce during the next few years should get everything balanced out. Of course, newer members will receive these "make–up" issues as an unintended membership bonus. In the meantime we ask you to bear with us!