Tuesday, September 23, 2014
   
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City renews Pony Express station lease with Chamber

altOpportunity to again manage tourist attraction

It didn’t take the Gothenburg City Council long to agree to another lease with the local Chamber to manage the Pony Express station.

At their July 17 meeting, the council decided that the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce could operate the free museum and curio shop from May 1 to Oct. 31 for the next three years.

Rental fees remain unchanged as the Chamber will pay $750 on May 1 of each year and $750 on Oct. 31 plus spend $1,000 on advertising to promote the station.

The Chamber is in its ninth year of leasing the station from the city.

On Monday, Community Development Office director Anne Anderson said management has gone well.

“I couldn’t do it without our wonderful staff,” Anderson said. “They’re the ones who tell the story.”

The station doesn’t make a lot of profit each year, she said, noting that income generated pays for salaries, rent, advertising, supplies, utilities and equipment such as an air conditioner and a security system.

Anderson said the primary summer job of Chamber office manager Joyce Kolbo is to schedule station workers, order merchandise and supplies and more.

One change in the lease approved is that the city will furnish rest rooms and the cleaning supplies to clean them. Both the Pony Express Station and rest rooms are in Ehmen Park.

Anderson requested the change since many people use the park and rest room without visiting the Pony Express Station.

Those expenses add up to about $350 a year, she said.

She noted that Pony Express employee Miriam Zietlow, who has worked at the station for nine years, cleans the rest rooms.

Employees tend to return to their job each year of telling the Pony Express story and operating the museum and shop, Anderson said.

Besides Zietlow, they and their years at the station include: Joyce Sabin, Chuck Titkemeier and Leone Cox, eight years; George Cox, seven years; LuAnn Houchin and Vicki Keiser, six years; Shawn Boyd, three years; and Jeanette Sukraw, two years.

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