Museum seeks more funds as it goes for grant

The Yuma City Council received an update and a request for more possible funding for the Yuma Museum renovation project, last week during its regular meeting.
Monica King of the Yuma Museum Board of Directors made the presentation. She reported that she had spoken with the historical fund representatives in Denver, and feels the museum has a good chance to receive funding. The museum has hired Yuma High School graduate Travis Roubideaux, now an architect in Oklahoma, and his firm to do the design work. She said the architectural work will cost about $3,000, including travel expenses.

She told the council the grant cycle starts February 1, so time was of the essence. King reported the museum building had received local historical designation, which does have some restrictions, such as the exterior look cannot be changed.
The museum board is looking putting in a new roof and gutter, a HVAC system, electrical inside and out, as well as interior redesign to meet ADA requirements.
Initially, the museum was seeking $100,000 for the project, including $25,000 from the city council, which is has budgeted in the council budget.
However, King said it appears the project is going to cost more than $100,000, adding it will take $150,000 to really modernize it.
The funding will be 75 percent from the grant, and 25 percent from the city. Therefore, King asked if the city could pledge another $25,000. She also provided some details the museum board would like to get done, such as installing LED lighting because fluorescent lights damage artifacts, and remove the drop ceiling to expose the metal roof.
Roubideaux’s firm will provide electrical design, floor design, as well as what the exterior will look like.
As for extra funds from the city, City Manager Scott Moore said there is about $10,000 in the contingency fund currently not earmarked for anything. There already is $20,000 in the contigency fund committed to other items. It was later noted that if the council commits the remaining $10,000 to the museum project, there will be nothing left to donate to other causes for the rest of the year.
Councilman Dan Baucke expressed disappointment that the flat roof design has to stay. King said a little bit of a pitch can be done, but overall the exterior cannot be altered.
Councilman Ryan Saffer said he does not see any donors within the community stepping in support, which he would like to see. Councilman Bryson Chrismer countered that there is someone who has put $8,000 toward the historical Blach School House located next to the museum.
Councilwoman Bethleen McCall told King she realizes there is a tight timeframe for the grant, but the city needs to take some time trying to find extra funds within the 2020 budget.
There also was some discussion about the museum’s reserves, and how much of that could be put toward the project.
Saffer stressed he wanted to see more public financial support if the museum is so important to the community. Councilman Steve Hoch said it probably is just a matter of asking.
King said the museum board will proceed with the grant process while remaining funding issues are explored.
The council unanimously approved a motion to pay Roubideaux’s firm “not to exceed $3,000.”

More meeting
• The council approved Chief Jerry Thompson’s request to purchase firearms “not to exceed” the $10,000 budgeted for the purchase. It was done that way because Thompson did not have a final figure yet, but did say it definitely would be below the $10,000.
• It was the council’s consensus to have a mail-in ballot rather than a polling precinct election for the April 7 election. The election could include city council races, if there are enough candidates, and possibly a lodging tax question.
• Moore informed the council that the city’s new trash truck is broken, so the sanitation crew is using one truck right now. He said the city is in contact with the company that sold it the new truck about a replacement.
• The second reading of Ordinance No. 1, 2020, concerning polling places in Yuma, was passed on a 7-0 vote. There was no public comment.
• The liquor license renewal for On the Green was approved unanimously, as was the liquor license renewal for Jenny Wayne’s High Octane.