Since 2015, a former Union Pacific caboose has sat at the entrance to downtown Texarkana's Front Street Festival Plaza.
The railroad donated the caboose to the city. It's been a nice decorative feature, especially considering the Twin Cities' heritage as a town that rail created.
Now it will be more than just decoration.
On Wednesday, the Texarkana, Arkansas, Board of Directors approved leasing the caboose to the owners of the new Crossties Event Center, located in the building just to the east of the caboose that once housed Moore's Furniture.
The event center owners plan to use it for food and drink sales. A patio area has already been added.
Since Crossties also owns the land between the building and the caboose, it should make a nice addition to the center's offerings.
One board member voted against the five-year lease, expressing concern that other members of the public weren't given a chance to bid for the opportunity. Although the law doesn't require the city to open such deals to public bids, we understand that concern.
But we also see a synergy here between the event center and the adjacent caboose. They work together. Crossties will pay $1,200 a year and be responsible for maintenance, utilities and insurance. The city was getting nothing before and will save on expenses.
We will be happy to see the old caboose in operation. Just one more reason downtown Texarkana is on the move.