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Trolley becoming a reality

The Salem Tourism Advisory Board recently donated $15,000 to the Salem Historical Society for a new trolley. From left, first row, William Dawes, Camille Franzen, Janet Keene and Audrey Null of the tourism board; and Ginger Grilli, Judi Allio, Gloria Judy and Kim Goll of the historical society board; second row, Kris Danklef and Dan Engle of the tourism board and David Hughes and David Stratton of the historical society. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)

SALEM — The Salem Historical Society received a Christmas present pushing them closer to a new trolley.

The Salem Tourism Advisory Board recently donated $15,000 to the new trolley from the municipal lodging tax fund, commonly know as the bed tax. City council approved the donation in November.

“The tourism advisory board unanimously approved the $15,000 grant request made by the Salem Historical Society, knowing that this trolley with its planned tours and usage during special events will bring many visitors to our community,” said Audrey Null, tourism chair. “We are aware of the economic impact that tourism dollars can bring into the city, as people will also shop in our stores and dine in our restaurants.”

The $15,000 donation from the Salem Tourism Advisory Board is the largest to date for the new trolley.

To date, the historical society has collected approximately $75,000 in new money that is dedicated to the trolley. A request for $75,000 has been made to the Salem Community Foundation, with a hearing scheduled in January.

The trolley is estimated to cost approximately $200,000 with the historical society covering the remaining cost of the trolley not funded by donations.

With gratitude to the tourism board, the historical society will provide marking acknowledging the donation.

“The monies donated by the Salem Tourism Advisory Board will be recognized in the form of a plaque on the caboose section of the new trolley,” said Kim Goll, trolley co-chair.

“Members of the board are delighted that the caboose will be dedicated to the Tourism Advisory Board of Salem,” noted Null. “All of us are very proud to be a part of the effort to bring the trolley to Quaker town!”

The rear deck (caboose section) will be similar to the one used on the current trolley where people can stand and wave to people, take photographs, etc. The new trolley will have a longer wheel base to fit more seats with a lift for handicap accessibility. It will also have air conditioning and heat and handle hills better.

Anyone donating $250 or more will receive a miniature recognition plaque inside the trolley.

Donations may be mailed to the Salem Historical Society, 208 S. Broadway Ave., Salem OH 44460 with “trolley fund” written on the memo line.

The historical society is purchasing a Villager Hometown Trolley made in Wisconsin, with hopes to have it here by April.

khowell@salemnews.net

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