Renfrew – There are five proposed phases to refurbish the caboose at Haramis Park, which town council agreed could be done at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
In a recorded vote requested by Councillor Sandi Heins, voting in favour were Mayor Don Eady, Reeve Peter Emon and Councillors Heins, Tom Sydney and Andrew Evans, while opposed to the restoration were Councillors Arlene Jamieson and Mike Coulas.
Prior to the vote being taken, Coun. Heins read aloud a prepared statement about why council should agree to the refurbishment to be completed by Friends of the Caboose and Haramis Park.
Included in the statement were five proposed phases.
The first is to remove the lead paint, which is only on the exterior of the rail car, she said. This work will be undertaken under the guidance of Ottawa Contaminants Solutions (OCS), a consulting firm that deals with contaminants.
Three employees of Marshall’s Construction of Renfrew will be trained by OCS for removal of the lead base paint and disposal of same, she said, as it must be done according to Ministry of Labour guidelines.
Phase Two would be the painting of the caboose’s exterior, which will be done by volunteers. It’s hopeful the town would cover the cost of paint and paint supplies, which will total just over $3,000, Coun. Heins said.
The Third phase would be the restoration of the platform-deck in front of the caboose, as well as the steps and railing, and again, could all be completed by volunteers, she said.
Phase Four is the restoration of the inside of the caboose and addressing accessibility, Coun. Heins said.
“Volunteers are very interested in doing this part of the restoration,” she said.
While there are concerns the inside of the caboose may not be accessible, Coun. Heins said there are ways of educating the public on the rail system and the caboose through other means than taking a walking tour through the caboose. One way around accessibility could be providing a virtual tour with cameras, she added.
“There are so many ways to educate people in regards to rail or the inside of the caboose with a virtual tour with cameras on the outside, similar to what they do with the rail tunnel in Brockville,” Coun. Heins explained. “When more solid plans are formalized, a report would be generated to ensure council’s approval.”
She noted the group would give the inside of the caboose a good cleaning and fresh coat of paint and fix up the display and information about the rail line that currently exists inside.
The final phase would be the ongoing care of the caboose and some of the structures at the park, including the lumberman and the gazebo. Coun. Heins said all of this can be accomplished with volunteers and staff with the town’s recreation department.
Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader