Gazebo being built in Exeter

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

City leaders excited to see finished product

The city of Exeter is on its way to fill a void left on Front Street, as it is building a gazebo where the old caboose sat for 27 years.

Myrna Eisenbraun, city clerk in Exeter, said three people have been hired to build the structure, with a local man, Bryce Cassity, doing the foundation brickwork, Seligman's Steve Cline pouring the concrete floor, and Melvin Yoder building the gazebo's roof.

"The residents are pretty excited about it," Eisenbraun said. "They are all ready to see the finished product."

Eisenbraun said there is no projected completion date for the project, but the city hopes to have it finished as soon as possible.

The city is building a concrete gazebo to cut down on vandalism, which was a problem with the caboose and one of the reasons the city sold it.

Exeter sold the caboose for $11,300 to the Midland Railway Historical Association for use on the Midland Railway, a privately-owned, non-profit tourist railway that runs from Baldwin, Kan., to Ottawa Junction, Kan.

"We either had to get rid of the caboose or spend a lot of money fixing it," said Rusty Reed, mayor of Exeter.

Per the original donation agreement, the city was required to keep the caboose in good condition, and that had been a challenge over the years.

Rhonda Scott, Exeter alderwoman, said vandalism was the main culprit in keeping the caboose from being in top shape.

The caboose was donated to the city in 1987, under former Mayor Marjorie Hopkins.

Reed said he hopes the new gazebo will be put to good use by Exeter and its residents.

"I think it's something people will use, and hopefully, we'll have some events out there," Reed said.

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