History museum given $25K in hospitality tax money

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comOctober 3, 2012 

— The Fort Mill History Museum has an active group of volunteers, a plan for its new building, events on the schedule and, now, financial backing from its town.

Fort Mill Town Council approved $25,000 for the museum while finalizing the town budget Sept. 24. Joe Cronin, assistant town manager and planning director for the town, said the $25,000 was a one-time appropriation and won’t come from the general fund, but from hospitality tax revenue.

The money will come in a grant agreement that he expects the town and museum to finalize in the coming week. Hospitality tax money comes with state requirements allowing for certain uses and not for others, meaning the details still need ironing out.

“We’ll have a formal agreement outlining what they can and can’t do with that money,” Cronin said.

Rudy Sanders, chairman of the museum board, and other museum leaders hosted a book signing event Sunday at the Spratt Building. Sanders said he was pleased with Council’s decision, and that his group will show its worth.

“We’re going to prove ourselves the first year,” he said. “We’re going to prove to be a branding item for the town.”

Originally museum leadership planned to ask for $25,000 each year for four years, but instead requested just the one-time amount to avoid putting future Council members on the hook for current decisions. The plan remains to come back next year and ask for another $25,000.

Currently, the museum is still located at a temporary site at 118 Main St. The group hopes to formally open its new facility at 310 N. White St. later this month. For more on the group, visit fortmillhistorymuseum.org.

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