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Posted on May 10, 2016

Council allocates more money to museum project

The Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum was back before the Quincy City Council on Tuesday, asking for an additional $75,000 that will help build the organization’s heritage barn project.
The request, granted by the city council, comes on top of $100,000 (and $15,000 in in-kind labor and materials) that the council approved for the project last month.
Harriet Weber, on behalf of the historical society, made the request for more money. Weber said that since she was before the council last month, asking for the city’s support, construction estimates for the project came in higher than originally expected. Fundraising efforts also had not gone as she had hoped, Weber said.
A week ago, the project was short about $125,000, Weber said.
“Last week was quite a roller coaster week for us,” she told the council.
The historical society wants to build a barn at the back of its property that celebrates and displays agricultural artifacts. A community heritage barn, as it is being called, also would serve as an educational center, community event venue and a family history center.
To get the heritage barn built, the historical society is applying for a state Heritage Capital Funds Grant, which would pay for about a third of the project. However, the historical society is on a tight timeline. It must have three-quarters of the money needed in hand or promised before it can submit a grant proposal to the state.
The project now is expected to cost about $622,000. With the additional money from the city, the historical society will have $416,000 in matching dollars, she said. The organization is applying for a $206,000 grant to make up the rest of the balance, she said.
Along with the city, two large donors have stepped up to offer more support to keep the project moving forward, Weber said. One of the large donors is anonymous, and the other is from the W.E. and Millie Jones Charitable Trust, she said.
Before the meeting, Mayor Jim Hemberry said he supported the project. The city for several years has been talking about creating a public space at the museum for such community events as a farmers market, Hemberry said. The city owns the property that the museum is on.
“So I think this is a good time to do it,” the mayor said of the project.
Only Councilman David Durfee voted against the additional allocation. Durfee, who voted in favor of the original $100,000 allocation, said after the meeting that he supports the project; however, he believes it would be a “disservice to the community” to allow groups to come back to the council and ask for more money after the city already made a decision. It would have been nice to see other donors step up, he said.
“I still support (the project),” Durfee said. “And I hope they get the grant.”
Weber expects to hand deliver the grant request to Tacoma next week.
“I’m feeling extra gratified knowing now that the donors and the city feel like this is such an important project,” Weber said.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,

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