The Clinton Lake Historical Society doesn’t need to hire a consultant or compile a master plan or seek out ways to generate grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities or anyone else.
No, the society can go ahead and spend a $20,000 heritage grant the way its leaders would prefer: to help add a room for storage, research and exhibits at the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum in Bloomington Park East at Clinton Lake.
Douglas County commissioners previously had approved the $20,000 grant to go toward consulting services, to help the society take stock of its museum and plan for future growth and sustainable operations.
But that’s not what the society wanted. And Wednesday evening, commissioners honored those wishes, amending the grant award to let the society put the money toward expanding the former milk shed it has outgrown.
“We’re here to help them, not to dictate to them,” said Jim Flory, commission chairman, stating his case for changing the grant restrictions. “To me, it’s the right thing to do.”
The society’s grant is part of nearly $300,000 awarded by commissioners to help preserve the county’s cultural and natural heritage. The commission had relied on an appointed Heritage Conservation Council to review grant applications and recommend how to spend up to $350,000 in tax money.