Historical Society meeting with Glenwood Springs City Council postponed | PostIndependent.com

Historical Society meeting with Glenwood Springs City Council postponed

The kitchen inside of the museum.
Cassandra Ballard/ Post Independent

The Historical Society meeting to address funding matters with Glenwood Springs City Council is being postponed to allow more time to answer questions and decide future actions.

“Council was not ready to act given the number of our outstanding questions remaining,” Mayor Jonathan Godes wrote in a text. “We wanted the Historical Society supporters that would potentially show up not have to waste their time.”

Acting City Manager Steve Boyd and Glenwood Springs Historical Society Executive Director Bill Kight seemed to be in agreement in needing more time to answer the list of questions presented by the mayor.

“I think both parties just felt that it would be better to take it off the agenda until we could have a work session with the Historical Society Board,” Godes said. 

The work session will give everyone a chance to communicate finances and solutions together. 

“We are looking forward to moving on and answering any questions they might have that we haven’t already answered.” Kight said.

Kight, who recently requested a higher salary for the executive director position, said the reason why is to find his replacement and offer them a liveble wage. Kight has been hoping to get the Frontier Historical Museum and the Glenwood Historical Society in good shape to be able to retire sometime in the near future and find a new executive director. 

“Since the Historical Society executive director has indicated that he is going to retire in the next several months, it also seemed wise to deal with their board more directly,” Godes said.  

The Historical Society is stuck on pause until the decision for funding is made, Kight said. And with half of Council set on continuing the conversation, postponing to get all of the main players at the same table seemed to be the best option.  

The Financial Advisory Board did recommend awarding the Historical Society the funding, but one of the reasons was to help the Historical Society find a suitable replacement for the executive director.

“When the A&I fund was established in 1991, there was a provision inserted that 2%, or $35,000 (whichever is less) went to fund the Glenwood Springs Historical Society on an annual basis,” the Financial Advisory Board Memorandum states. “It was noted that to put this into current dollars after adjusting for inflation the amount would likely be closer to $90,000 annually.”

The memorandum goes on to state that the Historical Society should be funded $120,000 for the 2023 and 2024 from the Acquisitions and Improvements Fund to help hire the new executive director and find more solutions for funding.

“This will allow enough time for the new executive director to be hired, and some lead time to come up with new and innovative ideas/fundraisers/attractions to further increase the society’s ability to provide interesting and fun things for the community and its visitors,” the memorandum states. 

Council will review funding in 2025 and possibly lessen the amount if the society has more positive changes, the memorandum adds. 

This postponement leaves the Historical Society in a limbo state, but it also gives the different entities a chance to brainstorm together to find a beneficial solution for all. 

The museum has proven to be a beloved staple in the community, whether through mail in support to Council chambers, emails to both the city and City Council members or even local students showing what support they can with paper cut-out hearts brought to the museum.

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