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Your Opinion: Project needed, but correct flaws

Dear Editor:

Transform Jefferson City is a very important and needed project for the city, something that has been needed for some time. I have yet to really gain an understanding of how the decision process developed and who was involved.

I fail to understand why there is a need to relocate the U.P. rail yard to another area. If folks on the committee that presented the idea have any understanding how many rail fans come to the city to photograph rail passing through the city and are able to accomplish this without actually going onto U.P. property. They spend time and money in the city as they gather photos of U.P. trains and freight passing through town.

Another concern is the idea to relocate the gas chamber in the MSP historic district. I believe that the $225,000 said to be needed to move it could be better spent stabilizing the facility and preparing it for public viewing on tours of the grounds.

Moving and re-working the facility is not in keeping with good preservation of such an important building relative to its use in the prison tour program. I have heard from several folks that its location is not in keeping with a good tour of the prison itself, that it will be too far for tours to be given.

Those kinds of comments cause me to think that those saying this are not really familiar with what lengths people who go to historic sites will go in order to see particular important structures within a historic site, that will receive negative comments from National Historic Site folks, if there is a true desire to have the prison complex rated as a National HIstoric Site. It should be kept in its present original location so that interpretive tours of the whole prison can be better kept in a more truthful and factual context when tours are given.

If this issue passes, I believe that these two issues need to be looked at in a more open way and experts in each area need to be involved.

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