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Supervisors Approve Additional Funding For Loudoun Museum

© Leesburg Today - 07/29/2015

The Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted recently to provide monetary help to the Loudoun Museum and to have the local government work on a plan for the institution's future.

The museum is going through rough financial times, so the board voted 8-1 on July 15 to provide a $55,000 grant to get through the current fiscal year. That money will more than make up for a projected museum budget shortfall of $52,000.

County staff members were directed to work with the museum staff and trustees to figure out a plan for the operation's long-term future. This working group is scheduled to report back to supervisors on whether there's a new plan to maintain the museum or whether the entity should dissolve and its collection of exhibit materials be dispersed.

Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin), a member of the museum's board, has led the charge to save the museum, and county Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) joined him in expressing July 15 the importance of having a place that celebrates local history.

""For me, I think there is great value in trying to preserve our history,"" York said.

Board Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) and Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) also supported helping the museum, but they said they did so reluctantly.

Buona pointed out that adding the $55,000 to money the county already agreed to give the museum would bring the total taxpayer contribution in FY16 to $91,007. That's quite a chunk of the museum's annual budget of $109,000, he said.

Letourneau said that if the county has to contribute that much of a percentage of the operation's budget, it should consider taking over the museum, and he noted that other localities such as Manassas operate their local history centers.

Supervisor Kenneth D. Reid (R-Leesburg) cast the sole dissenting vote against the museum-funding plan.

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