<b>Bipartisan efforts could guarantee RR museum here</b>

District 2 Arizona State Representatives breezed through District 2 Arizona Representatives breezed through town Friday bearing good news for Williams.

Jim Sedillo, Dem. — Flagstaff, and Tom O’Halleran, R. — Sedona, spent the morning in Flag touring the new Northland Family Help Center but were able to squeeze in about 30 minutes at the Williams-Grand Canyon News prior to heading west to Lake Havasu City.

One thing they both stressed is the bipartisan approach underway in the legislature.

For example, both representatives along with Sen. John Verkamp have strongly endorsed HB2606, an appropriations bill that will earmark $1.35 million to fund displays and educational programs for the Arizona State Railroad Museum. This cultural attraction is proposed for a 13-acre campus on the east side of Grand Canyon Boulevard directly across from the Grand Canyon Railway Depot.

Mayor Ken Edes and Al Richmond, ASRM foundation president, came back from Phoenix extremely enthusiastic about the proposed bill. Sedillo and O’Halleran echoed that enthusiasm Friday.

"I'd like to stress the need for people up here to support this bill and urge them to call the governor's office regarding it," Sedillo said. "This endeavor will be important to the economic development of the entire area and it will create good paying jobs."

He said the bill was passed unanimously by the commerce committee and if passed would go into effect at the start of the next fiscal year in July. Half the funding will be allotted this year with the second half following in FY 2002-03.

"Looking at the railroad in particular, you are looking at a cross cultural development," Sedillo said. "The Chinese as well as many other ethnic groups were involved."

O’Halleran pointed out the museum will be equipped with a 500-seat auditorium, which can be utilized by educational entities as well as serve as a convention center for businesses.

"Al Richmond was very convincing in his presentation," he said. "Not only was he knowledgeable but harddriving and engaging."

The News urges readers to follow these Arizona statesmen's advice and let those at our capital know how vital the railroad museum is to the entire state's economy.

To reach Gov. Jane Dee Hull by mail address your letters to her at the Governor’s Office, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007. Her phone is 602-542-4331; her fax: 602-542-7601.

"We're really excited about what we saw, the level of concern and how the museum's needs will be met," Sedillo said regarding Edes and Richmond's recent presentation at the capital. "The museum is a project that will be reaching across not only geographical but cultural lines."

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