The Brownwood City Council approved the purchase of a new miniature locomotive for the Lehnis Railroad Museum during its Tuesday morning meeting at Brownwood City Hall.   

The council approved the sale of the museum’s current Santa Fe 903 Mini-Locomotive for $9,150 and the purchase of a new one from Michigan resident Tom Bee, who also made the current train. The new locomotive will cost $11,000, an outlay of less than $3,000 for the new train.   

Beverly Norris is the curator of the Lehnis Railroad Museum and spoke before the council on Tuesday regarding the purchase. “I feel like I’m bringing you great news this morning,” Norris said. “At your advice, we put the Santa Fe, our unusable mini-locomotive, up for sale on a bidding site. We got a lot of interest, a lot of bids, and a winning bid of $9,150, which is about a thousand dollars more than I had even dared hope.”   

Norris said the new locomotive will be identical to the one currently in use. “That is deliverable within one year,” she said. “Those are custom-made locomotives.”   

The new locomotive will require a $3,000 deposit, which will be covered by the sale of the older train. The remainder of the cost is due on delivery and will be paid in the next fiscal year.   

During the meeting the City Council also:
    •    Approved an amendment to clarify City Code of Ordinances Section 78-451 “Wiring Methods” items (7) and (9). The Council previously approved an amendment at the Feb. 28, 2016 meeting that specified the types of wires that can be used in construction. The amendment referenced the 2011 National Electrical Code but neglected to state the year, 2011, which was added on Tuesday.
    •    Approved a list of roads and streets for repair. The city had completed 24.61 miles of street repair using funds from the 2012 Certificate of Obligation. Only 2.72 miles remain from the original list and will be completed along with new projects using the 2016 CO and the remainder of the 2012 CO at an estimated cost of $2,372,193.

The Council also heard a Budgetary Control Report from city finance director Walter Middleton. The report covered the first five months of the fiscal year.   

Middleton said the city is currently running a surplus of $3,810,000, slightly higher than last year at this time. Middleton added, however, that the city’s two main revenue sources, water and sales tax, are “having some difficulties making our projections.”   

“That has driven some of our revenue totals down,” Middleton said. “When we do our projections and look at where we’re going to be at the end of the year, we are going to have some difficulties making budget this year.”   

Middleton also said the city has made about $85,000 in pecan sales, a substantially higher total than most years and far above the city budget of $17,000.