Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Who You Gonna Call? Popeye? Casey Jones?

I am scratching my head about the headline of a local story; "Stillwater / City Pays to Have Towboat Towed".

"Stillwater / City pays to have towboat towed
Pioneer Press

Updated: 05/06/2010 11:46:31 PM CDT

Stillwater officials voted this week to pay $29,612 to have the Cayuga towboat taken off their hands.

"It's a liability we're happy to be rid of," said City Administrator Larry Hansen.

The 120-foot towboat, which the Aiple family gave to the city in 1998, was partially dragged to shore last month. It was originally envisioned as a floating museum docked next to a new park on the St. Croix River south of downtown, but those plans never materialized.

A crew from MidAmerica Technical and Environmental Services in Oakdale is expected to remove the boat by the end of the month, Hansen said.

A longtime landmark for boaters on the St. Croix, the Cayuga once housed offices for the Aiple Barge Co. and Max To Do Marine Service. "

— Mary Divine

File this story under, "Beware of people bearing gifts". Ten years ago our fair city was gifted with an old towboat that it accepted hoping to turn it into a floating museum. It never was renovated for a dockside historical museum of life on the St. Croix. The boat had lead paint and some other toxic substance and would have been very expensive to salvage. Local government finally threw in the towel and called someone to tow it away for over $29,000.
Is our small town government is as skilled in fiscal matters as our federal government? Comment from city officials said they were just glad to be rid of the thing. Cut your losses. I wonder if they tried listing it on eBay.

We also have a landlocked train in Stillwater. The dinner train business closed last year leaving the locomotive and dining cars landlocked on tracks that go a few miles and end. Removal would take a crane and big trailer. It is parked close to the river. Maybe someone can get that towboat to take it too.

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