County offers support for history museum

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Magistrates recommend tourism commission provide financial support

By Stephen Lega

The Marion County Historical Society paid a visit to the Marion County Fiscal Court last week in anticipation of the opening of a county history museum next year.

The museum is planned to be housed in the former Lebanon High School building, currently under renovation as part of Centre Square.

Dale Royse, the president of the historical society, spoke with the fiscal court about the society's plans for the museum in coming years.

"Together we can create a valuable asset not only for ourselves but for others coming to this community," he said.

Royse made a similar visit to the Lebanon City Council last month, and he told the fiscal court that he also plans to meet with the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission. He noted that the city has a representative on the historical society's board of trustees, and they would like to include a county representative as well.

Royse added that there is still a lot of work to be done, but the historical society is hoping to have the museum open in time for Ham Days 2009.

"This is going to be a community deal," he said.

The magistrates unanimously approved a resolution supporting the project, while at the same time encouraging the tourism commission to provide financial support to the historical society.

The historical society estimates it will need nearly $10,000 for a part-time museum director, according to letter from Royse to the fiscal court.

  In other business:

• The Marion County Sheriff's Office 2009 budget was approved unanimously by the fiscal court.

The budget includes projected receipts and disbursements of $646,425.42.

• The magistrates voted to approved the 2009 budget for the Marion County Water District.

According to the budget, the water district projects it will collect nearly $2.34 million in operating revenues in 2009. This is a decrease from the nearly $2.36 million projected in operating revenue for 2008.

The water district is also projected a decrease in operating expenses from an estimated $2.36 million in 2008 to $2.29 million in 2009.

The court also approved the re-appointments of Barbara May and Jeff Preston to the Marion County Water Board.

• The court approved a resolution declaring Dec. 5 Lady Patriots Day in Marion County. The proclamation commemorated the Lebanon Middle School girls basketball team's second consecutive state championship.

• The board approved the second reading of an ordinance creating a Marion County Cemetery Board. No members have yet been named to the cemetery board.