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Santa Fe Railroad Museum May Not Happen

A Potter County Commissioner tells us what's next for the million dollar project.
A more than a one million dollar plan to build a museum in downtown Amarillo, may not happen.

Back in September 2012, the city bought the Santa Fe Depot for more than $2 million.

City officials say they have nothing to do with the museum, but the county had plans to turn it into a railroad museum.

Potter County Precinct 2 Commissioner Mercy Murguia says, "we've been particularly interested in the santa fe museum initiative. So potter county has partnered with the nonprofit dating back from 2006.  So the county has been providing funds into the initiative in incraments of about 50 thousand per year."
   
There has been no formal paperwork dissolving the board, but Commissioner Merguia says she's heard from several places in the community that plans for the museum are now going to be put on hold.

Murguia says, "that was certainly new information to myself and the commissioners court.  This morning we discussed that during commissioners court.  We have not received anything formal, at least to my knowledge as of this morning that the museum was going to dissolve."

Officials have been raising money for  the museum for years, and people living in and around Amarillo have given hundreds of thousands of dollars for the project.

Commissioner Murguia says back in September she questioned where the money, both from commissioners and from citizens in the community, was going.

She says, "I  do know that there are individuals in the community that have donated private dollars and so I certainly echo those sentiments and funds, and we're asking particularly for county funds and tax payer dollars.  Again, that's our job on behalf of the commissioner's court."

She tells us officials are in an active audit with the museum board, and they're looking at those financial documents so they can answer the question many want to know.

Where is all of the money now?

We also spoke with city officials.

Sonia Gross tells us they have nothing to do with the plan for a museum, ad that the city is happy to own the building.

Gross says their plan was to preserve the historic nature of the building in that part of downtown.

Murguia tells us in two weeks at the next comissioners meeting..

She expects commissioners to take action.

The item will be on the agenda, and they'll get some answers on exactly what's next.
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