White Rock Museum & Archives could face “serious cuts” if they do not receive a substantial grant from the city.
In a lengthy presentation to council Monday evening, the museum’s executive director told council that ideally the museum would be awarded $40,000, but $25,000 would allow them to maintain the level of service currently in place.
Last year, the museum was given a $25,000 grant from the city which provided a “big boost” that was “so appreciated and necessary,” Sharon Oldaker said
As a result of the grant, the museum was able to put on a number of popular events and exhibits, but without financial support from the city, that would no longer be possible, she said.
“I’m very generally worried about our future if we (don’t receive the grant),” Oldaker said. “I don’t need to tell you how costs have increased over the last 20 years, we’re all very aware of that, but certainly the grant that we had 20 years ago does not cover today’s budget – it just doesn’t work.”
Oldaker noted that many of the museum’s staff – most of who are part-time – are not being paid the hours they work due to a lack of funds, and a dedicated group of volunteers also shoulder much of the work.
However, while their time is appreciated, it is not sustainable, she said.
When asked by Coun. Helen Fathers about finding other sources of revenue, Oldaker said there was a “willingness” but there was no time or funding available.
Mayor Wayne Baldwin noted that the the museum was just one of many groups looking for funding from the city, adding that “tough decisions have to be made.”
Council voted unanimously to receive the information Oldaker presented and directed staff to look for other sources of revenue for the museum.