Cumbres and Toltec Commission meeting 13-Nov-21

This is my documentation from the aspect as a reporter. This is NOT any official documentation of the Cumbres & Toltec railroad. If you saw this document via some other web site, the original site of this document is Videos of the commission meetings can be viewed at:

The official commission site is:

I may not have all of the “legal” terms correct. There may be spelling errors of persons or businesses. I paraphrase much of what was said. I try to indicate what the speaker means. This document serves to give the readers not present at the meeting a “pretty good” idea of what happened.

Content of this document is © 2021, Samuel B Seiber, all rights reserved.

New Mexico Commissioners: William Lock, Billy Elbrock
Colorado Commissioners: Scott Gibbs, Mark Graybill
Interm president of the Cumbres & Toltec railroad: Scott Gibbs

C&TS: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
C19: Covid-19 virus
CO: Colorado
CRF: Car Restoration Facility, Antonito
CS: Colorado Springs, CO
CTO: Cumbres Toltec Operating company
D&RG: Denver & Rio Grande Railroad
D&S: Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
DFA: Department of Financial Administration (NM)
DRHS: Durango Railroad Historical Society
DTS: Dynamic Ticket Solutions (the ticketing company used by the C&TS)
FY: Fiscal Year
FRA: Federal Railroad Administration
HPA: Historic Preservation Account
HR: Human Relations
JBC: Joint Budget Committee (CO)
LFC: Leglislative Finance Committee (NM)
MOW: Maintenance Of Way
NOI: Net Operating Income
NM: New Mexico
ROW: Right of Way
RPO: Railroad Post Office
RR: Railroad, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, unless mentioned otherwise
SHF: State Historic Fund (CO)
TABB: Tracks Across Borders Byway
VIHR: Victorian Iron Horse Roundup (August 2021 special event)
YTD: Year To Date (fiscal normally)
"the Friends": The Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR, the museum arm,

1. Call meeting to order

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Introductions

4. Motion to approve agenda

5. Motion to approve the Minutes from the July 31, 2021 commission meeting

6. President's Report-Scott Gibbs

6a. Status of Osier Eating House-Scott Gibbs

The fire at Osier station had an impact on last year, as well as planning for the 2022 season. The fire broke out at 8:45, September 23. It started in the bakery. The insurance investigator as well as the CO fire investigators have both looked at it. The cause was determined to be a faulty power cord to a box fan. The fire spread to a nearby recliner chair. That caused extensive damage to the bakery, the kitchen, and extensive damage throughout the building. The following day, the insurance investigator, as well as SERVEPRO out of Durango begin work. Building deconstruction began on 9/25. The upstairs portion of the building repair is expected to be completed in May or June of next year. The downstairs portion, late summer. Upstairs repair involves removing all sheetrock, insulation, hand scrubbing the insides of the walls, studs, ceiling, supporting structures, sealing everything, then re-installation of the sheetrock. The estimate to complete the restoration job is over $250,000. A request to obtain $50,000 of sheetrock was done 11/12. This is having a major impact on planning for the 2022 season. Scott thanked the staff of the RR to level an area for tents, tables & chairs to serve the customers outside (complete in 48 hours after fire). Box lunches were brought up from Subway La Jara 9/24. Toltec Catering brought up box lunches from 9/25 to season end. (editor note: work completion dates will be affected by access to Osier due to winter/spring conditions. Snow on the forest road to Osier).

6b. Reservation update-Scott Gibbs

Scott had 6 slides to go with his presentation. Below is the slide, and his description.

Slide 1

Recap 2021/2019

•Total Ridership - 37,735/42,451*
 •Daily Excursions-33,182/35,897
 •Chama High noon-2,503/5,386 (cinder bear)
 •Antonito Express-879/0
 •Victorian Iron Horse-548/0
 •San Juan & NM Express-226/0
 •July 4 Dinner train-145/200
 •Geology Train-128/149
 •Goose 5-112/127
•Revenue Posted to ticketing system-104% increase over 2019

*Excludes Christmas Trains

2020 was such an odd year, that it is not used for comparison to 2021. The RR served about 11,000 guests last year. Ridership this year was down about 10% over 2019. Ridership of the daily trains was down about 2,000 riders. This was with about 10% fewer train miles, as well as a 6 day a week schedule rather than 7 days, as well as differences in train schedules. The Antonito high noon train originally went to Big Horn and back, later changed to Osier and back. The year started without bus service. Buses in the past accounted for about 70% of ridership. Adding bus service at the end of July 2021 allowed the RR to pick up some additional riders. The buses accounted for about 17% of ridership this year, as people had already booked tickets. Some customers had booked a premium seat before bus service, and didn't want to change to add bus service, possibly loosing their premium seat. Also impacting ridership was not getting approval for full occupancy until July 1 (due to C19).

Slide 2

Trains 215/216

•Opening Day June 11
 •Time to get the dining hall and bathrooms operational in Osier
•6 day per week schedule until September 19
•7 day per week schedule until October 16
•End of Season October 23
•Doubleheaders scheduled every Saturday in July and Fall colors
•48,016 Seats available as planned with scheduled Saturday Doubleheaders
•238 Trains during the season
•Parlor Car access reverts to 21+
•We are going back to using car letters for ticketing rather than numbers

With one new Parlor Car added to the passenger car fleet we are planning how we use this car until the second new one is completed.

Opening day has been set as June 11 this season. The upstairs portion of Osier station is needed for bathrooms & lunch seating for the guests. The upstairs is due to be ready by this date. One train was cancelled this year, as people didn't have a place to get warm and use the bathroom. This season will begin with a 6 day per week schedule. This is in part that many Chama restaurants were closed on Monday. That impacted ridership. There was a meeting with Scott and the Chama community after this meeting, to get on the same page. Fall color season resumes the 7 day per week schedule. The RR is running and promoting double headers (out of Chama) in July, and fall colors. This year, when a double header was known in advance, a marketing effort was made, and two additional cars would sell quickly. The current schedule allows for about 48,016 seats for the seasons regular trains (215/216). This year, 77% of available seats sold. This year, parlor car age was 16+. That resulted in a lot of complaints. Adults didn't want teenagers on the car. Due to C19, the ticketing was done by numbered cars. Next year reverts to the prior lettered cars. An additional parlor car is expected to be available.

Slide 3

Chama Express

•This train was popular in July
•Ridership dropped off the remainder of the year
•We are adding an additional train from Chama to Cumbres on Fridays during July
•The train will depart 1:00 pm, after lunch.
•Use 4 older coaches, the old Concession car and an open car for a 6 car train. The 463 is rated at 183 tons up the hill and is able to handle the 6 car train.
•Pricing will be $90 adult, $45 child 6-12, $25 child 2-5

One thing that worked well this season, in July was the Chama high noon train. Scott will be working with the community so they are aware of the additional Friday train. The restaurants need to have these riders finished with lunch, so they can get on the 1 pm train. If needed, the train can grow from 6 cars, and be powered by a K-36.

Slide 4

Historic Consist

•Change the approach from 2021 operation of Antonito-Osier-Antonito once per month
•Operate a dinner train, once per month on Saturday, Antonito-Cumbers bus return with an afternoon departure.
 •Train stays at Cumbres
 •RPO 65 serviced at Cumbres
 •Locomotive serviced and watched overnight
•Operate a brunch train, on Sunday Cumbres-Antonito
 •Bus guests to departure location

During the 202 season, the historic consist (engine 168 & the 3 historic cars) would run to Osier and back, once a month. The early season trains were full, the later season trains were about half full. Rather than do what was done in 2021, change its trip to go to Cumbres on Saturday, leaving Antonito at 2 pm, with a dinner service on Cumbres. To get that train set back to Antonito, Sunday will be a morning brunch train (depart Cumbres 9 am), brunch at Osier. There have been some early comments looking forward to the brunch train.

Slide 5

Fireman & Engineer Schools

•All schools set up for Thursday through Sunday
 •Minimal interference with track work
•Five regular Firemen/Engineer schools
 •Two classes operate before opening day
 •No swchools during July peak season
•One Private school
 •The only school that occurs druing the fall colors season

2021 had 10 schools. It was determined that was too many for the equipment and staff. 3 were run in July, back to back. It didn't work.

Slide 6

Special Trains

•Two Geology Trains
 •Fathers Day June 19th
 •September 17th
•Botany Train
 •August 7th
•Goose 5
•July 4 Trains
 •July 4 falls on Monday-no 215/216 scheduled
 •Fireworks Dinner train from Chama
 •Historic consist from Antonito to Osier and return

An additional Geology train will be added. The Botany train returns, with more focus on Cumbres pass. Goose 5 may operate twice during the season, rather than once. Details are being worked on. The July 4 train out of Chama can leave earlier, without having to worry about train 215 being on the track since it won't be running anyway. Staff demands for the 2022 season are about the same as 2021. Scheduled double headers will be just out of Chama. The ridership numbers (slide 1) did not include charter trains for either year. The “other” trains in slide 1 include the Geology & Botany trains, sunset & dinner trains. The Friends special trains are not included in the list. Scott held a meeting with anyone interested in the Chama community after this meeting to coordinate operations of the train with operating days of the local restaurants.

With the slide show complete, Scott moved on to other topics. The RR had 7 reportable safety accidents. Several were slip, trip & fall type of events. One involved a fight at Osier. Two involved Friends volunteers. Safety needs to be improved. C19 affected operations of the RR quite heavily at the beginning of the year. The RR had zero C19 infections of the staff all season. Post season one staff member (vaxed) caught C19, doing fine now. Several staff are unvaxed. Depending on government rules, and CO funding requirements, federal rules will need to be complied with. That may require all staff to be vaxed to remain employed.

6c. Superintendent's report-Marvin Casias

It was a difficult season from July on. Getting ready for VIHR required a lot. There was a lot of car/equipment movement. This slowed things for other maintenance. Overall, things did OK. After VIHR, there were several special trains. Crewing all of the trains was quite a challenge. This put a hit on the budget, as more money is required. Budget needs for next year will be modified. C19 was part of the challenge. If any staff was near someone with C19, that staff member was required to stay home. That required others to cover the shift. Things were going well, until the Osier fire of 9/23. That required several people from several departments to rush to Osier to prepare it for alternate lunch service there (ready in 48 hours. Ed note: amazing job! I was on the Goose 5 during the week of the fire). No one knew what an 8 hour day, 5 day work week was. They really stepped up to the challenge of the season.

6d. Maintenance & Repair, Historic Car-Marvin Casias

The pavilion on Cumbres pass has been prepared for the winter. The passenger cars are in Antonito for their annuals and required maintenance. With the cars moved, engines can get their required maintenance. 11/15, work can resume on the new parlor car. It is hoped that that work will be complete by the end of the year. 4,200 tons of ballast has been dropped for the track maintenance crews to use. Marvin's crews are now helping John Mathews crews (track maintenance), as John had helped Marvin's crews earlier in the season. The crews are working as a big team. Marvin owes the commission a budget for work required on the passenger cars. All of the tie rods are on historic car, Pay car F. The car needs to be leveled out. Work to do so is still TBD. Inside side panels are being worked. Many window frames are done. The fleet that is complete performed well over the summer. Those cars will need to be annualed over the winter. Scott remarked how the Chama shop did a great job getting 488 running before the end of the season. That was very important during the last weeks of the season, as 489 had a super heater failure. 488 had its smoke box modified to better capture cinders, reducing the chance for a line side fire. When 488 would reach Cumbres from Chama, the running boards didn't have cinders on them. It did add maintenance requirements, to clean out the smoke box. Commissioner Graybill mentioned that 2020 was challenging, and 2021 was very much a challenge. Budgeting, staffing, etc. was very tricky to work through. VIHR was a huge success. VIHR created many news stories. It was a huge effort for the RR to present the event. The Osier fire was another huge challenge. There was a day of trains interrupted (the trains were turned at Cumbres & Big Horn on 9/23 to return to their departing town). Commissioner Graybill thanked the entire staff for pulling together to serve the guests. A huge task indeed. Marvin reported that all locomotives should be in service the beginning of next season. No other locomotives are planned to convert to oil burning at this time.

Chairman Lock at this point asked Abby Martinez to cover marketing efforts. Abby mentioned this was her first year as marketing coordinator. She has been with the RR for 8 years. Advertising has been primarily around the digital aspect, less going to traditional print methods. The advantage of digital is being able to track what is converting to sales. Digital allows targeted advertising to specific demographics. The VIHR was very successful. It drew in the media, resulting in 259 known media placements. A 70% increase from past seasons. It also drew international media. It was a challenge to market, as the schedules would change throughout the season. Commissioner Graybill commented on how spectacular the marketing effort turned out. For the 2019 season the RR budgeted $720,000 for marketing. The 2021 had $375,000. It cost roughly $17 per ticket sold in 2019 vs. $10 in 2021. Graybill commended Abby on her great first year. It would have been a fine job if it was her 10th.

6e. Tracks Across Borders Byway-John Bush

John thanked the RR for all of their efforts. Many of which were due to C19, which remains a challenge. The Gomez store has been to the fairgrounds in Pagosa Springs. That means it will not be moved to Chama. Possibly a good thing, as it would require some effort from the RR, which is already maxed out. Pagosa has requested the RR help amplify their display. The commission & Scott Gibbs are working on that request. This may give Abby an opportunity to market the RR more in that area. Too many of the Pagosa visitors go to Durango rather than Chama. C19 has been a struggle with TABB, especially with the Indian nations (mostly with the Jicarilla) in performing meetings. The corridor management plan is being worked. Signage & pullouts are also being worked, such as the Navajo tank near Dulce, as well as bridges west of Juanita. During the VIHR, there were two guided tours along the TABB. It was pointed out that there is a turkey processing plant in Allison CO, where the building remains. It still has chicken crates inside. The tours were well attended. It was asked if further guided tours might occur. John explained that that would partly depend on the Utes regarding Gato. It would also depend on getting enough people to attend the tour. It as an item for future exploration. It was asked if engine 223 (from Utah, discussed in prior meetings) might still make it to the RR. John mentioned that an accurate inspection of the 223 & its costs needs completion. He has gained some allies within the state of Utah. This is far from being any kind of a done deal. This is a work still in progress.

7. End of Year Financial closing report-Alysia Martinez

At the end of the season (October 2021), saw increased operational revenue, due to full capacity (C19 restrictions) and operating 7 days a week. Operational activity was high in October, but will now transition to capital work. Balance sheet for commission remains strong. Funds are arriving from both states. There is not much activity on the HPA balance sheet. The capital balance sheet has modest changes, relating to deprecation schedules as required by NM accounting rules. The CTO balance reflects more activity from the prior year. The current cash position is higher than the prior year. Commission P&L remains strong. NM is providing general funds. Net income is in a good position. The CO commission support has been signed and expected to be received. NM commission funding has been received. HPA reflects little activity. Operation revenue was up. CTO is running as expected, with operations in full swing in October. Revenue is much higher than expected. Revenue was higher than budgeted for October. Total income is showing to be much higher. The CTO P&L reflects the un-audited yield YTD income $1,6000,000 higher than what was budgeted. Operational income has increased due to higher train operations. Capital expenditures were slow July through September. In part due to VIHR. Some capital work was done to pay car F. The FY 2021 audit is complete. Commissioner Lock thanked Alysia for getting the audit done on time. Something that hasn't happened in a while. Commissioner Graybill mentioned how the 2021 audit was a success. Prior audits had a few findings. This year had just two minor findings.

8. Commissioner Reports

8a. Chairman Report - William Lock/finance

Commissioner Lock decided to punt this off, as Alysia pretty much said it all. The RR is in much better shape this year over last year. Winter work can begin.

8b. Vice Chairman Report - Mark Graybill/marketing liaison

Commissioner Graybill also punted, as Abby covered things so well.

8c. Secretary Report - Billy Elbrock/local affairs

Commissioner Elbrock said hello to prior commissioner Dick Cowles who attended this meeting. He also introduced a new local, who joined the RR, Tomas Campos. He hired on as the business manager. Community affairs went well this year. Complaints were down this season. Kim Casford gets the majority of the calls, vs. commissioner Elbrock, since that is her job. He then asked Kim to finish the report. She reported the RR has been more pro-active in relations this season. Some of the successes were a visit from the NM congresswoman (name I am not even going to try to spell) who received a very informative tour of the property. The congresswoman was very interested in the success stories involving the RR. Noting how Alysia & Abby have grown (been promoted) in the RR. Two senators (from NM) were on the property. Kim also got a senator and a representative from CO on the property. (For readers really interested in the names, I suggest watching the video of this section). Scott Gibbs suggested getting meetings with the local mayors. Kim got with Antonito and Pagosa Springs. This resulted in some really good ideas. This helps those towns get a better perception of the RR. Kim will expand out to Alamosa and other areas. Scott has been very helpful to Kim. Bringing Tomas on board, a home grown local has been very well received within the community. There are several new business owners. Some of the hotels have new owners. Some work will need to be done over the winter with those new owners. The business model of the RR needs to be explained. The owners need to understand that adding a car last minute is not possible, as that requires additional crews, and other things. (Ed Note: I understand that some hotel owners tell their customers that the RR can always add a car if needed, not knowing what is REALLY involved to make it happen). Restaurants have been encouraged to stay open. The restaurants have their own staffing challenges. There is no easy answer to those staffing problems. Kim then asked Tomas to take the floor. Tomas pointed out how he had to get up to speed quickly in July. Good progress was made on the business end, starting with a good audit from Alysia. He is addressing business procedures, purchasing, cutting expenses. Working on the computer system problems. He will be working with Scott to address ticketing system issues. The payroll system issues will be addressed. Work on the RR grounds need work. The Chama bathrooms are almost complete. They really needed work. He thanked the various staff for the hard work they did this season.

8d. Treasurer Report - Scott Gibbs/capital projects

Scott began with discussing the three state funded capital projects, track, cars and locomotives. Annually the RR needs to replace 4,000 ties to maintain a 50 year tie life. The RR is a couple of years behind plan. Buying second hand ties is almost impossible right now. The RR has to look at buying new ties. The RR needs to place 8,000 to 10,000 ties to get back on schedule. All commissioners rode across the RR with Marvin & John Mathews via speeder this last summer, a very informative tour. 488 needs extensive work. It needs a new smoke box. The front of end is being cut off right now. 489 needs complete running gear overhaul. The DRHS is having locomotive 315 getting its 1472 work done in Antonito. It should be available early next year, maybe opening day. As far as car work, a lot of repainting needs to be done. Deferred painting of the cars due to C19 has lead to failed clear coat on those cars. Painting will be addressed over the winter. It was asked if the states are providing capital support. NM support looks strong. NM support is expected to be that of the prior few years. CO zeroed out the RR last year. As far as CO support, the RR is in the budget for federal stimulus money from CO, amount unknown right now, out a pool of $98 million. The CO governor promised he wouldn't let the RR fail. If the federal money doesn't come to be, CO will get it back into the general fund. CO support looks good, but how is yet to be known. The RR could be receiving a single check for $4.6 million to buy out the remainder needed to get the RR to self sufficiency. This would be spent from now to the end of 2025. Commissioner Graybill commented that things are difficult right now, not knowing the funding. Maybe $100,000 for now, or the $4.6 million later. Clarity is desired, but it could take until April or May to know for sure what the future holds. Even when CO zeroed out the RR, they still got some money (although less than the normal $1.1 million). The RR has friends on the JBC, as well as the governors office. That resulted in $850,000 in funding. Unfortunately, that does not result in a base for funding this year. So, the base for this year starts at zero. Work is being done to fix that.

9. Friends of the C&TSRR Report - Tim Tennant

As mentioned throughout this meeting, it was a challenging year, although rewarding. It was a much more normal year over last. Members were ready to get back to work. The Friends had a locomotive 168 charter September 25, right after the Osier fire. He thanked the staff for helping it come off well. Over the summer, crews were working in Sublette. The last time the section house roof was repaired on was in 1991. The roof was down to just plywood. Fixing the roof was one of the current projects. Finishing the tourist sleeper (historic car fleet) was another project over last summer. Just finished in October was the car inspectors roof & chimney (Cumbres). The Friends were busy for the VIHR doing normal work session efforts, as well as docent work in the yards during the event. The pile driver was demonstrated during VIHR. The next long term project in CS is express bag car 163. The cost to move the car to CS is much more expensive than projected. There were 21 total work sessions last summer (regular and special). 207 people attended those sessions. 31 were first time attendees. Participation was really good. Of the 134 train operation days, 3,200 hours of docent service was provided. The docents make the train special for the guests. 25,000 trip maps were printed for the season. 1,800 remain. Normally, 20,000 maps are printed. So, a good season. The Friends would like to run a charter end of September 2022. A moonlight train charter as well for 2022. A June member train to Cumbres is desired, if possible. Commissioner Graybill thanked the Friends for really helping the VIHR to be a success. Tim replied that many of the Friends really enjoyed being the good will ambassadors for the event. An audience member (a docent) mentioned a story of some locals from Antonito that were not familiar with the train, and how they learned about it at the VIHR.

10. Old Business

10a. Presentation of Easement request by Carlos Garcia

Mr. Garcia is attempting to get a private crossing easement over the RR tracks near mile marker 324.3. He has property on each side of the track there, and one side is not available without the crossing. There is forest service land surrounding his property. Via phone, he addressed the commission with his concerns. These are the highlights of that call:
He began discussions of this crossing in October 2020
He made his request formally in the October 2020 commission meeting
In April 2021, his attorney provided the commission the legal basis for the request
May 2021, he and others were on the commission meeting conference call to answer any questions
Two weeks later he called the RR to check on the status of his request
He had two conversations with commissioner Lock with his legal justification, and photos of the area desired
July 29, he talked with Mr. Lock. The topic would be part of the July 31 commission meeting.
August 16, 2021, he sent an e-mail to Scott Gibbs regarding no answer from the July 31 meeting. He reports no response to this e-mail
He called Bill Lock, and was overwhelmed by what Mr. Lock required.
On October 19, 2021, he sent an e-mail to Tracy for distribution to the commissioners asking for a decision in this meeting
His land is a parcel of 276 acres, 63 of which he has access, the remainder not accessable
This request is for a private crossing, not public
At the requested location, the RR line is straight for ¼ mile each side
He feels this location is of minimal liability to the RR
He is upset with the lack of response from the RR
Gaining access to his property via the subdivision north of him, through forest service land is impossible
Bill Lock mentioned that he disagreed with some of Mr. Garcias points
Mr. Garcia was looking forward to a favorable decision regarding his request
Mr. Lock reported that an executive session was part of the meeting. Since this is a legal matter, this would be discussed in that session. Results of that discussion will be presented in the general meeting. Mr. Garcia was called back after the executive session.

11. New Business

11-. Request to speak at the meeting-Rich Casford

He was at the meeting representing the Rio Grand Railway Preservation Corporation (RGRPC). They were the former operator of the C&TS from 2000-2005. When they left the property, the organization stayed intact. They work with the current RR behind the scenes. They have helped the shops buy equipment. The flat cars used to haul ties were purchased by the RGRPC. They also helped out with money after the Laboto trestle file in 2008. Now, we have the Osier fire. Osier is a very important aspect of this RR. A lot of people ride this RR due to the Osier lunch. Rich presented the commission with a check for $10,000 to repair the kitchen at Osier. This money can be used for items not covered elsewhere. Commissioner Lock brought up the fact the building is 30 years old. Some things might not be covered by insurance. An attendee asked about the photo collection on the walls at Osier station. What happened to them? Mr. Lock answered that SERVEPRO will be restoring as many photos as possible. Some photos were damaged by soot, and are not fixable. The photos are boxed at Osier, waiting to go to SERVEPRO for their photo restoration teams. When moisture from the fire condensed, there were black streaks running down the building walls, onto the photos and maps. The Friends have many photo collections, and can provide replacements.

11a. Motion to approve/disapprove of Commission open meeting policy


11b. Motion to approve/disapprove Railroad 2022 operating schedule

Commissioner Graybill motioned to approve, with the caveat that it could be changed as conditions warrant. Approved

11c. Motion to approve/disapprove and Acceptance of 2021 audit


11d. Motion to approve/disapprove revised community liaison contract


11e. Motion to approve/disapprove appointing Scott Gibbs as President

First, a word from Scott. He felt the opportunity to lead this organization over the summer was an amazing experience. This is his third career. He wants to see things that got started, continue. Now is not the time to interrupt things. He has offered to continue the agreement he has had, for the next year or two, maybe longer. As a commissioner, he can not be paid for being president. This summer, he wasn't paid, but was a fabulous experience. His wife Anna has been very supportive. Without her support, he wouldn't have done the job. He must abstain from this vote. Approved. The other three commissioners thanked Anna for her support. It was decided this had to be a roll call vote. All three approved.

11f. Move to approve Commission officers and slate assignemnts for November 2021 to October 2022

Thus, after this meeting these are the positions of each commissioner:
Chairman: Mark Graybill
Vice Chair: Billy Elbrock
Treasurer: Bill Lock
Secretary: Scott Gibbs

11g. Motion to approve/disapprove endorsement of the CTO proposed project list for submission to Candelaria fund

Scott explained that the Candelaria Fund would like to extend what they have done over the years. Over the last decade they have donated over $1,000,000 for various projects. They would like to continue supporting the RR. They want a prioritized list of projects. They would like the commission to endorse that list. The RR has created that list. Richard Tower has reviewed the list. He replied that they were willing to fund the items on the list. That will create the basis for a 2021 donation as well as 2022. The list has been shared with all commission members. If all items are funded, it would constitute about a $414,000 donation to the RR. Mr. Lock mentioned that platform around the Chama station needs replacement. There were some tripping issues over the summer. The list also includes new windows at Osier station (30 years old) as well as exterior painting. Approved and endorsed.

12. Executive Session

13. Actions following Executive Session

Mr. Garcia was called back (item 10, old business). Mr. Lock reported that no decision can be made at this time. To make a decision, approval from the US corps of engineers is required, as the RR is part of the wetlands in that area. Mr. Garcia needs to gain approval from the engineers, from which a decision can be made. Mr. Garcia requested a letter or e-mail detailing what is required. Commissioner Lock answered he will respond in writing.

14. Adjournment

Next Commission Meeting: February 12, 2022

Editor Personal Note to my readers

Having gone down to the RR to chase the train, or ride, or simply work on Goose 5, I can say that the entire staff, management, and the commission busted their a** to keep this RR running well. Remember, from prior meetings, they had problems getting fully staffed (as many businesses have). They ran with about 75% of the employees that they really needed. Long days, 6 days a week were normal for 2021. The Goose 5 ran during the week of the fire. I was on every trip. Marvin Casis and his crew along with John Mathews track crew got temporary shelter and bathrooms at Osier put together in amazing time. Crews that had already been through the effort to put on the VIHR now had a new huge problem to address, the Osier fire. What a job! Next time you see an employee, maybe give them a big "Thank You". I did. They care, a lot. A very special team.