A "Tentative Agreement" Between City, Railroad Museum Could Derail Lawsuit

Looks like the city of Dallas and the Museum of the American Railroad may not lay track to a trial after all, as both parties appear to have agreed that, sure, fine, OK all ready, the museum can move to Frisco by August 1, 2011. Guess it was that second round of mediation that did the trick.

Maybe you recall: Last time attorneys for the city and the museum met in court, exactly one month ago, museum attorney William Brotherton told a city attorney that if the museum wasn't out of Fair Park by August 1, 2011, well then, Dallas was more than welcome to seize the 37 trains at the museum and sell them on eBay. Assistant City Attorney Chris Caso didn't think that suggested deadline was going to work for City Hall, which wants the space for this year's State Fair of Texas.

The attorneys were supposed to meet again in court earlier this month for an injunction hearing but opted instead to continue mediation with Paul Salzberger. Brotherton felt good about the progress being made; First Assistant City Attorney Chris Bowers, who filed the suit against the museum at the end of January, less so. But for now, at least, a settlement appears to be on the horizon.

I've called and left messages for the city's attorneys throughout the afternoon, but did reach Brotherton today. He says, "We don't wanna screw up the deal," when asked if the parties had agreed on an August 1, 2011, deadline. All he will say is that they've "kinda got a tentative agreement" that has to "be approved by everyone" -- meaning, the City Attorney's Office, the Dallas City Council and the museum's board of trustees.

"We haven't gotten anything in writing at this point," Brotherton tells Unfair Park. "But I think we got something worked out."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky