It's been six months since a representative of the Carousel Foundation gave a gloomy report last December to the Kennewick City Council.
The slow pace of fundraising and a shortage of cash to finish restoration work on the 1910 carousel built by Charles Carmel has left the city with a piece of antique amusement equipment that remains homeless.
Foundation representatives are scheduled to give another progress report to the council tonight.
City Manager Marie Mosley said that the presentation at the council's workshop will set the stage for any decision that needs to be made about the carousel's future.
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Kennewick has invested about $860,000 in the carousel, which consists of 40 hand-carved animals, most of which have been repainted to their original luster in the eight years since the city acquired it as a basket-case carousel.
Council members insisted at the December meeting that the foundation show real progress in the next six months toward completing the goal.
"We are out of time. We want to hear you've sited it, got a conceptual plan and are raising money," Mayor Steve Young told foundation representative Ken Johanning then.
Johanning played a key role in the acquisition of the carousel in 2003, persuading a woman in New Mexico to part with it on the condition that it be put back into operating condition.
A half-century ago, it was the main attraction at the Silver Beach amusement park in St. Joseph, Mich.
Years later, it ended up in the collection of a woman in Roswell, N.M., and when she wanted to sell, civic leaders in St. Joseph couldn't raise the money.
That's when Johanning and Phil Slusser of Kennewick rode into the picture, learning of the carousel's whereabouts and persuading the owner to let it come to Washington.
Once the wooden horses arrived in Kennewick, the Three Rivers Carousel Foundation was formed and fundraising began.
Then, worsening economic issues came, reining in the project.
Johanning told the council in December that it would be a tragedy, but the city may have to face reality and sell it.
The workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org