Restoration of the "Earthquake" roller coaster in Belmont Park has been put on track with a $150,000 grant from the state Office of Historic Preservation.
The grant will enable the roller coaster, which has had its share of ups and downs since the park's closure in 1977, to come a step closer to complete restoration. However, a stipulation in the grant requires that the Save the Coaster Committee, the nonprofit organization that saved the coaster from the wrecking ball, match the grant amount.
The state is to issue its first check June 1, according to Carol Lindemulder, founder, past president and currently a member of the Save the Coaster group's board of directors. Meanwhile, the group is negotiating with the state over how much of the matching funds must be in actual cash.
Because donations of the in-kind variety may be immediately converted into the restoration, about 50 members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts participated in a "paint-a-thon" Saturday to improve the image of the coaster.