The Sherman Museum is getting the same level of funding from the city for the new fiscal year as the past two years and didn’t need to bring any extra supporters to a City Council meeting to get it.
The Sherman City Council unanimously approved a contract with the Sherman Museum to provide it $17,500 in funds from the Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax per quarter through the end of the current fiscal year. That will provide the museum with $70,000 in funding for the period that began Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30 next year.
“We have been quite busy since we saw you last time,” museum board President Bea Harmon said to the council. “We’ve had strategic planing sessions, changed our by-laws — it’s just unbelievable. We have done so many things to improve the museum. And we’re still working diligently.”
The museum is privately owned, but Sherman provides it funding to help with operations every year from the city’s Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax. Last year, after the council initially budgeted $50,000 in funding from the Hotel-Motel Occupancy Tax for the museum, staff and board members issued a press release stating the museum might have to close without additional funding.
The city had provided the museum with $70,000 during the prior fiscal year and later increased the funding to $70,000 after museum supporters expressed their displeasure with the budget during a council meeting in August 2016.
During that August 2016 meeting, the council ultimately committed to finding “a pathway to full funding” for the museum and asked museum Executive Director Dan Steelman to work with the Sherman Museum Board on plans for what kind of operations could be put in place at a number of different funding levels.
“The concerns we had last year, they addressed,” Deputy Mayor Jason Sofey said after the council’s recent meeting. “We did continue to run it on a quarterly basis, which we changed last year. The line of communication has continued to be a lot better between them and us. I think it’s good, but we will keep that on a quarterly basis.”
The meeting earlier this month was the first time the museum’s funding was discussed by the council in open session, as the matter was not addressed during any of this year’s budget planning sessions. After the council approved the contract, Harmon thanked Mayor David Plyler and the city council for their continued support of the museum.
“Thank you so much for being there for us and helping us out,” Harmon said.
The board president also told the council of the museum’s new hours.
“We’re no longer going to be open on Tuesdays,” Harmon said, adding the museum will be offering some extended hours. “That’ll give families and students more time to come in.”
The museum’s new hours are from noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The museum will also be available by appointment on Tuesdays.