‘So this is our money funding you, right?’: Madison county thinks about defunding local museum

MADISON, Neb. -- Madison County Commissioners and the Historical Society argue about the Madison County Museum's funds during Tuesday's meeting.

During their weekly annual meeting, the County Commissioners discussed their plans when it comes to future funding of the museum. Currently, Madison County is the only financial backer of the museum. However, many expenses have made the board reconsider how funding is to be used going forward.

The main concern is the amount of funding being used for non-historical exhibits in the museum. 

"We just want to work together," Madison County Commissioner Board Chairman Troy Uhlir said. "On the other hand, we don't want to be paying for train repairs. Their train collection is part of their exhibit, we feel that is not part of the historical society."

Another issue that Madison County has, is the lack of availability for the museum. Currently, the museum is only open by appointment, requiring visitors to call ahead for a tour to be scheduled and the location to be unlocked.

Uhlir says this has decreased the number of visitors the museum could be seeing. "So this is our money funding you, right?" Uhlir said to the Historical Society during the Tuesday meeting. "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."

No agreement has been made, but the County Commissioners appear to be focusing on only funding historic parts of the museum and securing funds for a new employee who can be at the location, creating consistent visiting hours.