LM&M Railroad Train, Photo from the LM&M Facebook page
LEBANON, OH (FOX19) -
The future of a popular Warren County tourist attraction is up in the air.
The City of Lebanon is reviewing the results of an independent economic costs and benefits study analyzing the city's contract with LM&M Railroads.
LM&M is a privately owned tourist rail operation that uses infrastructure owned and maintained by the city.
Mayor Amy Brewer said the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years supporting LM&M.
Brewer said she will not support entering into another contract.
"We are getting ready on August 5 to hear the consultants finding and their perspective. Regardless of the study findings, my feelings have remained constant. The train has significance to the community. My issue has always been taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize private enterprise," said Brewer.
If LM&M loses its contract with the city, rail employees say the operation could be in jeopardy of closing.
"These people eat here, they go to shops, they buy candy. Otherwise they wouldn't come to Lebanon," said Jim Carson, a conductor for LM&M. "The railroad is an integral part of Lebanon. We hope we will remain here because it's such a good fit."
A public meeting is set for August 5 during which consultants will present the study findings.