Ohio Historical Society gives city $1,000 for Historic Church

City considering how to spend one-time windfall

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- Administrators are thinking about how they should spend an unexpected $1,000 the Ohio Historical Society has given the city for the Historic Church on the Circle.

Burt Logan, executive director of the OHS, presented the check during a City Council meeting Dec. 13.

Mayor Dave Kline said he was surprised by Logan's announcement because he guessed Logan may have wanted to thank the city for operating and maintaining the church on the OHS's behalf.

Jane Mason, a spokeswoman for the OHS, said the state's 2012-13 biennial budget allocated $750,000 to the OHS that was previously designated for an unidentified history project that hasn't materialized.

"[Gov. John Kasich] directed Burt Logan and the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Historical Society to use their discretion to putting these funds to good use in terms of supporting history in the state of Ohio," Mason said.

The OHS took $75,000 of that money and is distributing it to its sites that have management agreements with other entities for various services, such as operations and upkeep, for anything related to the site as the managing partners see fit.

Mason said there are no restrictions as to how the money must be spent or by when.

Kline said the money was deposited into the city's general fund and will be re-allocated so that it can be spent on something related to the church, but how the money will be used has yet to be decided.

"We don't know exactly what we're going to do, but we'll do something that normally doesn't get done," he said. Possibilities are landscaping around the building and cleaning the carpet inside it.

Mason said it's unlikely that the OHS will have another opportunity to give money to the managing partners of its sites.

"Particularly in this time of very strict budgeting, it would be unusual that a project that had been funded did not move forward for whatever reason," she said. "We don't really know what the project was, we don't know why it didn't move forward, but it was not related to us [the Ohio Historical Society], but it was apparently related to some history initiative ..."

The OHS is using the balance of the money the state gave it -- $675,000 -- on one-time expenses that will be incurred during its 2013 fiscal year and the replacement of resources, such as worn out microfiche machines, so that the OHS can better serve its patrons. Some of the money was used to pay for things some managing partners couldn't afford to do to their sites. The OHS also added some to its reserve fund for future emergencies and spent some on additional compensation, or a bonus, for employees of the OHS.

"Most of the staff here haven't received an increase in salary for 10 years so it was an opportunity to give the staff a little bit of additional money to compensate them in lieu of an increase," Mason said.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

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