Madison County and Historical Society still at crossroads over funding

MADISON, Neb. -- Madison County and the Madison County Historical Society have yet to come to an agreement on funding.

Two weeks ago the Madison County Commissioners and some members of the Historical Society went back and forth, arguing about how funding should be used at the Madison County Historical Museum. Madison County said in the July 6th meeting that they wanted the museum to operate with regular business hours and restrict how funds are used by the historical society.

"So this is our money funding you, right?" Madison County Commissioner Board Chairman Troy Uhlir said to the Historical Society two weeks ago. "So, what I'm saying is we want hours if we're going to fund this, and I don't care if it's an hour a day or if it's 4 hours a day or one day a week."

Since then, the two organizations have not come to an agreement, but Madison County has still made progress in implementing the changes they want at the museum. Partnering with the city of Madison the two boards have agreed to split the pay required for a full-time museum worker who would operate during regular business hours. However, the Historical Society is not obligated to accept this proposal and may refuse funds that come with guidelines on how to use it. Should it come to that, Uhlir says the budget to the Historical society provided by Madison County would be cut.

"At the end of the day, we want to help," Uhlir said. "We're cutting and being played out to be an enemy on their side, and I get that because I feel like we're pushing them or telling them what to do. However, when we're funding it, we kind of do have a say in what the taxpayer is getting."

Madison County is the sole financial contributor to the museum and will finalize the budget given to the historical society on September 20. The County and city of Madison have both requested the Madison County Historical Society to hold a board meeting. There the city and county hope it can come to the Historical Society and come to an agreement that benefits all parties.

No date for a Historical Society Board meeting has been set according to Uhlir.