History Museum needs additional funding

Editorial by

SETH DUKES

Newsroom Coordinator


The Meade County History Museum is grossly underfunded. They need to expand, and they simply can’t afford to do so on their current budget.

Other than the monthly $1,000 payment from the county, the museum depends on donations and endowments to keep the lights on. Considering they were forced to stay closed for most of 2020 due to the pandemic, it’s safe to say that donations weren’t rolling in for the facility.

Think back to last year when the Confederate monument was the talk of the town. How many people in support of the monument said that they wanted to preserve our history? I’m calling on both city and county officials to put their money where their mouth is. They should actually contribute to preserving our history instead of just dropping a quote to a news person when it’s a hot topic.

Yes, the county should contribute more money for the museum, but an even better start would be for the city of Brandenburg to contribute any money to the museum. They contribute $0 annually. It’s easy to say that Brandenburg’s tax base is small, and that the money just isn’t in the budget, but it has recently been made clear that money is available. The mayor of Brandenburg is proposing purchasing concrete bollards in order to protect the Confederate monument from a rogue tank that may drive into it at 50 miles per hour. He estimates the cost to be $10,000. That $10,000 would pay for nearly a year’s worth of rent for the museum. The fact that the city is even considering such a frivolous purchase while the history museum can’t be confident in their future is sickening to me as a tax-paying citizen.

Gerry Lynn will be sorely missed, especially by me. He was a straight shooter, and I could always count on him to tell me what was going on, even if sometimes I had to keep some things off the record. Yes, he certainly had some problems with some of the staff here, but that never affected any of our talks or interactions. We both had a lot of respect for one another. I never once felt like he was trying to pull the wool over my eyes, and after working in this business for years, that was a breath of fresh air. I think the county’s projects memorializing Gerry’s legacy are awesome. But do you know what else Gerry was very passionate about? The history museum. He worked with Gerry Fischer to make the museum a reality. What better way to honor his memory than to promote and sustain a project that he really believed in?

Ultimately, we have to decide what’s important to us as a community. If we all say that preserving our history is important, then we need to back up that claim with dollars. The museum is a free educational resource and source of entertainment for the county. How can we afford to have a library that rivals the Taj Mahal, but not be able to afford the absolute bare minimum for the facility that houses the Brandenburg Stone as well as countless other historical artifacts and exhibits?

If the history museum doesn’t receive additional funding, I don’t want to hear a peep for any government official about how important it is to preserve our history. It’ll be a demonstrable lie. If you feel the same way, I urge you to contact your magistrate and the city and let your opinion be known. That’s your money, and you deserve a say in how it is spent. Here’s how you can contact your representatives at the county level:

District 1 – Muldraugh, Woodland, & Grahamton

Tom Goddard

(H) 270-828-8429

(C) 270-319-8843

tgoddard@meadeky.gov

District 2 – Rock Haven-Doe Valley, Weldon-Doe Run

Donald Eli Dix, Jr.

(H) 270-422-3401

(C) 270-945-2141

edix@meadeky.gov

District 3 – Flaherty, Guston, & Otter Creek

Billy Sipes

(C) 270-668-8081

bsipes@meadeky.gov

District 4 – B-Burg East, B-Burg West & Ashcraft

Gary Chapman

(H) 270-422-4581

(C) 270-668-2646

chappy23@meadeky.gov


District 5 – Ekron, Buck Grove & Garrett

Steve Wardrip

(H) 270-422-2366

(C) 270-547-0885

steve.wardrip@meadeky.gov

District 6 – Payneville, Battletown, Wolf Creek, & Sirocco-Midway

Randall Hardesty

(H) 270-496-4241

(C) 270-668-3165

randall.hardesty@meadeky.gov

Additionally, if you feel the way that I do and live in Brandenburg like me, let your city council members know. Here’s how you can email them:

Bill Basham, brandenburg@brandenburgcity.com; Bryan Claycomb, bclaymcbank@bbtel.com; Bruce Fackler, bfackler@bbtel.com; Charlotte Ford, Ford-cford@bbtel.com; Bradley Johnston, Johnston-rosemaryjohnston@twc.com; Michael Kelly, michaellucaskelly2017@gmail.com; Ronnie Joyner, mayor@bbtel.com.




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