Kaminski House Museum management being passed to Friends of the museum
As of July 1, the Kaminski House Museum and the Parker Stewart House will be under new management.
Georgetown City Council — as part of the $31 million FY 2014 budget passed last week — agreed to turn over the managing operations of the Front Street landmarks to the group Friends of the Kamnski House.
Council — because the two properties will still be owned by the city — agreed to earmark $190,000 for the Friends of the Kaminski House.
The vote to allow the Friends to take over the management was 6-1 with Councilman Paige Sawyer voting “no.”
He did not agree with giving the group a two year agreement.
“I do want to see it made better but we must remember the amount the city has invested in it the past 40 years,” Sawyer said. “I cannot see going beyond a one year agreement. It’s like a child coming to you for an allowance. If we pass it for two years we are already $190,000 in the red next year.”
Councilman Rudolph Bradley agreed, saying the city operates on a year-to-year basis and there is no guarantee the city will have the money next year.
Mayor Jack Scoville said there is an escape clause written into the agreement that keeps the city from being on the hook next year if funds are not available.
City Administrator Chris Carter said the reason the Friends were asking for $190,000 rather than $170,000 was because of “catch up” maintenance that needs to be done.
Friends member Bret Phillips estimates the cost will be in the neighborhood of $500,000 for the needed renovations but said the group is not asking the city for those funds.
He said the group wants to hire a grants development officer to try to find funding for the work.
He also said fundraisers will be held in order to generate more money.
He said an architect has already been hired to analyze the needs of the house. Once the needs analysis is complete, requests for proposals will be sought from prospective contractors.
By Scott Harper
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