News Column

City's share of museum budget to hold steady for now

August 29, 2014

By Jefferson Robbins, The Wenatchee World, Wash.

Aug. 29--WENATCHEE -- The city of Wenatchee's funding of the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center will remain as-is into 2016, while the facility prepares a new five-year plan against possible future finance cuts.

The city council had debated lessening its $9,456 monthly contribution, which pays for salary, benefits, building maintenance and computer support at the downtown historic space. A proposal to reduce that contribution over the next six years was tabled at Thursday's council meeting.

Instead, city executive services director Allison Williams said the contracted amount will remain the same through next year, while museum director Brenda Abney and the nonprofit museum's governing board work on a five-year strategic plan.

Mayor Frank Kuntz was directed to negotiate a new five-year agreement with the museum that would start in 2016 and begin stepping down the city's contribution after that year.

The city previously provided more funding to the museum, but cut its contribution by $140,000 in 2012, citing budget shortfalls. Four of the facility's five paid staff were laid off; Abney is now the only city employee at the facility.

Supporters of the museum began an online petition campaign at to encourage continued public funding. The effort had gathered 296 of a desired 1,000 signatures as of Friday.

Reach Jefferson Robbins at 509-664-7123 or Follow him on Twitter at @JRobbinsWW.


(c)2014 The Wenatchee World (Wenatchee, Wash.)

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Source: Wenatchee World, The (WA)

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