It's easy to get jaded when you hear talk about a community project for years without seeing any real action toward the end goal.
And we've been one of the biggest critics of the carousel project as it has struggled to find its footing for nearly a decade.
Those involved had good intentions, but the project stalled and lost momentum as the horses gathered dust.
The potential home for the carousel became a cause for much debate, as did the city of Kennewick's decision to dump $830,000 of the taxpayers' money into the project, which has yet to see one wooden horse spin a circle.
But we're optimistic about a new plan, which just might be the one that saves the project, proposed to the Kennewick City Council last week.
If a well-connected group of community leaders gets its way, the 100-year-old carousel will finally find a home, this time at the new Southridge Sports Complex on city-owned land.
For once, we can say this seems like a great fit. It's a highly visible location, and lots of families will be using the sports complex. Big tournaments will have visitors looking for activities for the kids to enjoy in their downtime.
The chairman of the newly minted board of directors of the Three Rivers Carousel Foundation says the plan is "to complete the project without cost to taxpayers ... We will build a home for the carousel."
As we said, folks have had good intentions before but failed to reach the ultimate goal, despite successfully restoring the 44 horses and getting the city's financial support.
The city has taken possession of the carousel, and it is being stored in a city building. The mechanical system has not been refurbished.
But this new group of pony proponents has the potential to finally bring the carousel to life.
The charge is being led by Eric Van Winkle of Townsquare Media (the radio station group that operations KORD and several other prominent stations), and Dwight Marquart, owner of Toyota of Tri-Cities. They've also recruited Dave Retter of Windermere Realty, Carlos Martinez of Dura-Shine Clean, Bill Lampson of Lampson International and Barb Johnson of the Columbia Center mall.
The group has strong community ties that will aid in the effort. Pledges for lots of in-kind donations have already been solicited.
Committee members plan to construct the carousel along with an events center in a separate building. Conner Construction has volunteered to take the lead on the project and is working with many local subcontractors to donate their skills to see the project to fruition.
While there are lots of questions to be answered, the city council appears open to the plan. Van Winkle has committed to bringing back answers -- including how much money needs to be raised -- to the council in the next 90 to 120 days.
The city also needs to decide whether it's possible to attempt to recoup its investment in the carousel, once it sees the projected expenses and income structure for the revived project. If the carousel ever sees a profit, repaying Kennewick taxpayers ought to be a priority.
One councilmember suggested deadlines for the committee's efforts. We think that's a wise action to take after the council is updated in the next few months.
As we all know, good intentions only get things so far. If this group fails, and we hope they don't, the city needs to be able to divest itself of the carousel once and for all.
An aggressive action plan is needed if we ever expect to see this herd of horses in motion in Kennewick.
This new committee appears to have the horsepower needed to make it happen.