Thursday, April 2, 2009

Legislators look at ways to restore Preservation Budgets

Ohio Historical Society's state budget has been cut 40 percent in the past decade, bringing critical maintenance to a standstill and forcing staff cuts statewide.

State Rep. Tyrone K. Yates, a Cincinnati Democrat, said he will introduce a budget amendment to restore the society's funding cuts and add $50 million in federal stimulus money for site repair and rehabilitation.

Another proposal by Sen. Mark Wagoner, R-Toledo, and Rep. Kathleen Chandler, D-Kent, and others have proposed a state income tax check-offs to benefit historical associations

Fifteen state historical sites and museums will be closed this week because of budget cuts. Locations that are jointly operated with other organizations might not be affected. They will reopen either April 4 or April 6.

Given the tough economic times tourism dollars are at a premium and many smaller towns that depend on tourism to sustain them are in financial trouble as maintenance costs continue to go up. Small towns like Zoar, OH and the Bimeler Museum House, desperately need dollars to fix deferred maintenance issues.

Each year there is a ten most endangers places listing, some in the preservation community feel that if something isn't done and done soon,m perhaps the whole state should be on the list!

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