Reports the Indiana Transportation Museum will relocate entirely to Logansport are not accurate according to the board’s president.
John McNichols said Tuesday the museum will meet with Noblesville officials within the next two weeks to discuss its presence in the city.
“We want to maintain a presence in Noblesville, but it seems the city doesn’t want us,” McNichols said.
The Noblesville Parks and Recreation Department Board voted earlier this month not to renew ITM’s lease for Forest Park. A move that left the museum in limbo.
“We had a 99 year lease, which (Noblesville) claims it could void for cause, such as if toxic waste is found on the property. We’ve had meetings with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and we’ve yet to see where there was any kind of toxic spill at the site,” McNichols said.
The city notified Indiana Department of Environmental Management about potential environmental problems in May, IDEM has conducted three follow-up investigations and the Environmental Protection Agency has completed one. All four have found violations including PCBs and several cars also are believed to contain asbestos, which is currently under further analysis.
“At this point we have plans to meet with the city, to discuss the property, and (maintaining) a presence in the city, but it’s really up to them,” McNichols said.
ITM already transferred some of its assets to Logansport, but McNichols said such a move was already part of the museum’s expansion plan.
“We had planned to move some of our equipment to other locations as part of an overall expansion plan. Part of that plan was to move some assets to Logansport,” McNichols said.
Logansport also is an option to relocate entirely. Last July Logansport and ITM entered into a join agreement, allowing for a process for Logansport to provide support for the Museum’s first presence outside of Hamilton County.
“We contacted (ITM) in January or February, and after some discussion among its board members, some meetings, phone calls and emails, we had them up here about 2 months ago for a lengthy meeting,” said Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell.
Robert Herrington, Noblesville Public Affairs manager, said the city and ITM have a meeting scheduled in early February.
“We planned on talking about Forest Park, the cleanup, and if the museum needs additional time to vacate the park,” Herrington said. “If they want to talk about (maintaining a presence in Noblesville), they’ll probably be able to do that at that meeting.”