By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport city officials believe in Motts Military Museum.
On Nov. 22, Groveport City Council unanimously authorized an annual donation of $25,000 to Motts Military Museum for each of the next five years beginning in January 2022.
According to the approved legislation: “…in order to ensure the expansion of and continued operation of the museum thereby preserving the museum’s significant historical and cultural contributions to the citizens of the city of Groveport.”
“The Motts Military Museum is a tremendous asset for the community as it serves as a tourist destination,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King.
The funding will come from the city’s community service grants fund, which under the city’s 2022 budget has $48,000 set aside for such grants.
When asked what other organizations would receive the remaining $23,000 in 2022, King said, “Grant awards are dependent on which organizations submit an application for funding. Organizations that have received grants in the past include: Human Needs, Ohio Flags of Honor, and Touching Little Lives.”
King said any local non-profit or civic organization is eligible for apply for a grant. To apply for a community service grant, organizations should contact the Groveport city administration and request a grant application. Grants will be reviewed and awarded based on need and available funds.
“The goal is to assist local non-profits and civic organizations in their efforts to continue providing a service to the residents of the city of Groveport,” said King.
Councilman Scott Lockett acknowledged that Motts Military Museum “is a great asset that brings great value to the community,” but he questioned the size of the city’s donation to the museum, which would amount to $125,000 over the next five years.
“That’s a lot to give,” said Lockett, who noted that council is considering such things as rate increases at the Groveport Aquatic Center as will as trimming other aspects of the city budget in 2022.
Lockett, while supportive of the donation, said he would also like to see Motts Military Museum provide some reciprocal discounts or some sort of family package rate for city of Groveport residents “so they can experience the museum.”
Councilman Ed Dildine noted the donation comes from the community service grants fund and that other community organizations can take advantage of it, too.
Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert said Motts Military Museum brings positive things to the community and Councilman John Hougland said the donation is not a strain on the city.
Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts founded the museum in 1987 in his residence and then moved it in 1999 to a 5,100 square foot facility with nearly four acres of land located at 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport. In 2015 a 5,200 square foot wing was dedicated at the museum.
Motts said the museum supports Groveport and that museum personnel refer museum visitors to amenities in town such as area restaurants and recreational facilities.
According to Motts, the museum has 744 members from 28 states and three countries.
“This past year for those who signed the register book we have had visitors come to the museum from 32 states and five countries,” Motts said. “And 20,000 plus have visited the museum this past year.”
According to its mission statement, Motts Military Museum seeks to educate the public on the importance of America’s military past. The museum houses a large array of military vehicles, aircraft, military and personal artifacts, personal stories, photos, documents, a recreation of World War I ace Eddie Rickenbacker’s home, one of the world’s largest collection of 9-11 artifacts, and much more. The 9-11 collection is so vast that there are plans to construct a building next door to house and display it as well as other artifacts.
When asked when construction of the 9-11 building expected to begin, Motts said, “First, we just got Don Jakeway, who is our director of development for this capital campaign on board. We are finalizing all the project details so we can begin the capital campaign and then eventually the construction. We are evaluating all the preliminary project estimates and those will be finalized in the near future. The final square footage has not been finalized.”
Motts said the 9-11 building project is expected to be completed in two phases unless they are “fortunate enough to secure all the funding in a shorter period of time.”
According to Motts, Phase 1 of the building project consists of three wings to house the Bicentennial American Freedom Trains, a conference room for meetings and programs, and a wing for the Holocaust Memorial Exhibit, which is the second largest collection of Holocaust items in the United States and sixth largest in the world. Phase 2 is the 9-11 Memorial Exhibit that will showcase the largest collection of 9-11 artifacts outside New York City.
For information about Motts Military Museum, call 614-836-1500, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit mottsmilitarymuseuminc.com. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1-5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/veterans with ID, $5 for students, and children under age five admitted free.
Visit mottsmilitarymuseuminc.com to make a credit card donation to the museum, or mail a check to Motts Military Museum Inc. 5075 S. Hamilton Road Groveport, OH 43125.