Pact Would Keep Ohio Tourist RR Operating

A new contract with an Ohio tourist railroad is reportedly on the verge of approval.

The city of Lebanon and the Lebanon, Mason & Monroe Railroad have agreed on a plan for the railroad to continue to use track owned by the city.

The pact calls for the LM&M to add a facility fee to ticket sales to raise money to replace two bridges on the 6-mile line.

The fee would be $1 this year and increase to $1.50 by 2027. Replacing the bridges has been estimated to cost $1.3 million per bridge.

Lebanon will seek an $800,000 state grant to help pau for the new bridges while the LM&M will make an annual payment of $3,000. The railroad also agreed to pay property taxes and assume responsibility for annual track maintenance of up to $6,000 per year and to pay for routine track inspections.

The city purchased the track used by the LM&M in 1981. A 2014 study concluded that the LM&M has an annual economic impact of an estimated $2.5 annually.

The LM&M’s contract with the city to use the track expires next year.

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