CW Historical Society gets help stabilizing its finances

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

After applying for city bed tax grants to cover various needs year after year, the Canal Winchester Area Historical Society is getting its own city budget line item to cover basic expenses.

While the agreement does not cover all expenses incurred by the society in maintaining and operating the buildings and historical collections under its control, it does provide a guaranteed source of funding for utilities and insurance.

At its April 6 meeting, Canal Winchester City Council passed an ordinance providing up to $10,000 for 2015 and 2016 to the society for gas and electric, security and telecommunications and insurance.

The cap on utility costs is $2,800 and $1,200 is budgeted for security and phone service. The city is also covering up to $6,000 in costs for insuring the society’s historical complex and museum.

Funds not expended by the society for permitted uses must be returned to the city’s finance director by Jan. 31 of the subsequent year, unless expenses are used for other uses approved by council. As part of the agreement, similar to one the city maintains with Canal Winchester Human Services, the historical society will provide quarterly financial statements to the city.

In return, the society agrees to continue to collect, preserve, maintain, promote, educate, and inventory historical records, data, real and personal property for the Canal Winchester Area to benefit citizens.

“It ($10,000) isn’t more than we’ve received in the past,” said society trustee and assistant treasurer Jeanette Schneider, “but now it’s consistent funding. We’ll still need to ask for grants.”

The society operates the O.P. Chaney Elevator, Prentiss Schoolhouse, Hocking Valley Railroad Depot and National Barber Museum. Artifacts from the barber museum are in the hands of a restoration company following a December fire which forced the museum from its home above the Wigwam Restaurant. The society is in the process of looking for a new museum site.

Three years ago, fixed expenses for the society’s historical complex at Oak and High streets were $8,210 and $9,400 for the National Barber Museum. For the first nine months of 2014 the cost for both funds totaled $13,672. The monthly operating cost for the barber museum alone was $750 for rent and utilities.

In addition to a $10,000 grant provided by the city through bed tax revenue last year, the historical society obtained funding through other grant sources, donations and memberships. A golf outing and annual ghost tour raised another $6,178.

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