The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority refuted claims made by the Indiana Transportation Museum that the authority is the reason ITM has not been able to operate the Nickel Plate railway, at the Hamilton County Commissioner's meeting Monday.

Members of the Port Authority, along with the organization's lawyer, told county leaders ITM was the one withholding information.

ITM spokesman John McNichols previously said the Port Authority has kept the museum from being able to negotiate new contracts over the last 11 years and claimed the Port Authority demanded information about its volunteers they do not have access to in order to continue business.

The museum has submitted its claims against the Port Authority, including the Authority's lack of funds directed towards maintaining the railroad and deeming the railway unsafe when it was allegedly determined safe by the Federal Railroad Association, but has not produced documentation to support these claims.

However at Monday's meeting, The Port Authority provided documentation stating that ITM failed to do its part in the contract negotiations and were not forthcoming with financial information, that as the governing organization, the Port Authority required.

The Port Authority offered documents providing information about their dealings with the transportation museum throughout the two organizations' working relationship.

McNichols, along with other ITM board members were in attendance at the meeting and were reprimanded for causing a disturbance and attempting to speak over the authority's lawyer Anne Poindexter when she questioned the certification of the museum's volunteers.

ITM plans to submit a bid to once again be the operator of the Nickel Plate Railway, which is in jeopardy of becoming a walking and biking trail.

Other expected bidders include Hamilton County Tourism.

The bidding for a new railway operator will take place this month.

Members of the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority were contacted for comment but did not respond by the Times deadline.