An agreement between Hamburg Township and its Historical Society will help preserve the municipality’s museum and strengthen its financial position.
Officials say the collaborative agreement is the culmination of several months of work on a plan to better support the Hamburg Township Museum and Historical Society. The building in which the museum is housed was constructed in 1865, making it the second oldest building in the village. Township Supervisor Pat Hohl says the municipality tried to sell the building a few times, but didn’t get any offers. It was deeded to the township’s Historical Society in 2011 with a reversion clause that would revert the building back to the township if the museum ceases operation.
Hohl says the township still wants to help preserve 188 years of the community’s history, and so they plan to enter into a two-year agreement with the historical society that requires the township pay the full cost of utilities to operate the museum, and maintain the building, grounds and parking lot. The township will also employ a part-time museum administrator/curator with grant solicitation and volunteer development experience. The goal is to better establish both the museum and historical society as self-sustaining nonprofit entities.
Suzanne Hines is the Historical Society’s secretary and treasurer and says, “I believe if we had a strong volunteer group and someone directing it, a lot of our programs that we keep talking about doing will be able to be done. We’d be able again to let more people know that the museum is here and participate by becoming members or perhaps endowing it in some way.”
A resolution to enter into and ratify the agreement was adopted by the Board at their meeting. The resolution is a preamble to a formal agreement that will outline the specifics of the collaboration. Hohl says he expects both parties will enter into the agreement once someone has been found to fill the curator position. (DK)