Those who wish to help begin the planning work to construct a train viewing platform here are asked to contact the city manager.
The city will receive $50,000 from the new State Capital Improvements Budget, adopted by the state legislature and approved by Gov. John Kasich. City officials will use the money to construct the platform on Motson Street.
Although the grant will help pay for the project, city manager Brian Humphress has said the community will need to raise funds to help pay for the platform.
It "will allow visitors to our community a safe place to watch and photograph some of the 80-plus trains that travel through Willard on a daily basis," Humphress has said. "This facility could bring as many as 20,000 visitors annually to Willard."
While the community seeks to raise the remaining funds, the city will work with the historical society to add train history memorabilia to the site.
In 1874, the town of "Chicago Junction" was founded and in 1882, it was incorporated with a population of 800.
In 1917, the town's name was changed to Willard in honor of Daniel Willard, the president of the B&O Railroad.
The city manager said he'd like the project to be completed in 18 months.
"While we intend to solicit members from the public at large, if you know of anyone who would like to serve on the committee, please either let me know or have them contact me," Humphress said. "The committee will do some preliminary work this summer and finalize this work in the early fall."
If you're interested in serving on the committee, or know somebody who is, contact Humphress at (419) 933-2591 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.