Well, it has finally happened: Plant City is moving ahead with the train-viewing platform that has been discussed in the inner circles of Plant City since as far back as 2008. Wednesday, a ground-breaking ceremony was held to kick off the construction of the platform. An excited crowd was on hand to make it official.
Most people do not know, but Plant City has something that many cities do not have. As a matter of fact, only three other cities in America have a train crossroad that has trains running east and west and north and south. Another bit of information is that Plant City has been ranked 10th in the nation for train viewing.
The train-viewing platform project is estimated to cost about $200,000, and they hope to have it completed by this Christmas in time for the Christmas lighting ceremony. The economy had slowed the project, but thanks to CSX and many motivated citizens, the project is moving forward. CSX is in the train business, and it has graciously awarded Plant City a $25,000 contribution. The Plant City Lions Club also has offered a $5,000 contribution. If anyone is interested in helping, they can contact the Plant City Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is a 5013(c) organization.
Local train enthusiasts are donating train memorabilia, including a real caboose, that will be part of a train museum located next to the existing train station.
Darcy Stottlemyer, president of the Plant City Downtown Businesses and Merchants Association, has had this dream for many years. Thanks to Mike Sparkman, George Banning and many other dedicated citizens of Plant City for their hard work. I would like to congratulate all the citizens of Plant City for making dreams happen and working so hard to make Plant City a better place to live.