That beer and wine lawsuit's never going away. But the city's lawsuit against the Museum of the American Railroad in Fair Park, which first pulled on to the tracks in January 2010, is officially over. As of yesterday, matter of fact, which I discovered when pulling up that court jacket only to see that it now reads "9/22/2011: motion [to] dismiss, agreed."
William Brotherton, the attorney repping the museum, tells Unfair Park this afternoon that Judge Martin Hoffman signed off on the adios yesterday, just a week after the city and Brotherton put their pens to the settlement agreement we first mentioned back in July. And now that it's a done deal, Brotherton's free to tell us when those trains will roll on out of Fair Park.
"The museum plans to move by December 31," he says. I ask: Is that the start date or the end date? He says they could file for an extension, per an agreement, "but as of now we plan to be out December 31. We'll start moving after the State Fair."
The agreement, he says, was hashed out during a series of mediation sessions with Paul Salzberger, which actually began last year. "It's unfortunate the suit was filed," Brotherton says on his cell phone, on his way to the golf course, "but Paul did a wonderful job and got the parties together, and got it all worked out. The musuem has a great partner in the city of Frisco and they're looking forward to our moving up there. Life is good."
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, this first has to go through Landmark Commission due to the nature of the historical buildings. "But I don't think either side anticipates there will be an issue there," Brotherton says. "The city sued to get the museum to leave, and I don't think Landmark will go, 'Naaaaah, you can't go."
I did ask about remediation, which several Friends of Unfair Park always bring up when the train museum comes up.
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Says Brotherton, "The locomotives were brought in there -- by the State Fair of Texas, by the way -- and they had had their fluids removed. Everything was cleaned up, and of course they sat there. Maybe there's a drop or two of oil, but nothing worse than any other Dallas parking lot."
Now, he says, it's just an issue of laying track and getting a move on.
"We just gotta get the track put down, which is coming up shortly, and BNSF has been a great partner," he says. "They have the switch up there and will put it in as soon as we get the tracks put down. We've got someone coming in to make sure everything's going to roll. It will be quite a move. Right now we're working on getting the structures moved, and we're working with the Texas Historical Commission. We're working with some structural movers to see the best way to do that. We may have to do some trimming to make sure we get under the utility wires."
I've left message for the City Attorney's Office. Perhaps they too are out enjoying The Most Beautiful Day Ever.