By Jack Fink

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OLD TOWN KELLER (CBS 11) — Ask Terry Thomas about Keller’s past and he won’t hesitate, “The city is here because of the trains.”

But Thomas, a member of the Old Town Keller Merchants Association, worries a part of history will slip away, “I would love to see this train stay here.”

An old passenger train car the merchants association bought five years ago to attract people to shops and restaurants, and two rail cars the city owns, will be moved out by March 31 to make room for new parking spaces. An engine the city also owns will remain.

The merchants association presented a plan to move the passenger car to a nearby park, but so far, the city council won’t allow it until the group gives more details.

“They want more details; they want surety bonds. There’s a lot of things they want,” Thomas said. “Forty days, you can’t move it.”

Keller’s Mayor Pro Tem Rick Barnes said the merchants knew back in November the train car would have to move.

But Barnes said the city could be flexible, “If the merchants association were able to come back to us with a plan that would work, I think the council would be willing to look at the timing of it all.”

The city is making $4 million in improvements to streetscape and landscape by adding 170 parking spaces.

While business owners we spoke with here like the plan, not all agree the train cars should be moved.

Robbie Tullos, who owns a hair salon, said, “It’s growing and more businesses are going in here. They’re not going to have places to park. Where are our clients going to park?”

Kasey Jackson, who owns a clothing store, said, “I think the history needs to stay with Old Town Keller.”

Thomas said, “If you do not remember history, you let it go.”

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