UNION — The Union County Historical Society is hoping Union County Council will help it meet a $60,000 challenge issued by the Timken Family Foundation of Canton, Ohio.
In a letter to Union County Supervisor Tommy Sinclair, Buddy Smith, society president, stated that the society had submitted a grant request to the foundation asking for $154,000 to help fund a series of renovations to the Cross Keys House.
The renovations, which Smith wrote had been presented to council during its budget process in June, will include construction of a new restroom facility, installation of a heating and air conditioning system in the house, and the demolition of a one story kitchen which currently houses the property’s restroom facilities. The kitchen, which was built in 1948, will be replaced with a “period/primitive kitchen detached from the house as would have been customary during earlier plantation times.”
Smith described the renovations as “high priority items which will best support an increase in tourism at Cross Keys and make it the center of attention within the Union County Historic Trail.”
The foundation did not approve the society’s grant request, but Smith said it did challenge the society to raise $60,000 by August 2013. If the challenge amount is raised by that time, Smith said the foundation will match it with another $60,000.
Smith pointed out that during its June meeting, council voted to allocate $65,000 from the county reserve fund to the society for use at the Cross Keys House. He said the society’s board of directors is asking council to release those funds to the society so that it can meet the challenge made by the foundation and secure the promised matching grant.
In addition, Smith stated that the management of the local Timken plant has pledged their support in requesting the early release of the foundation monies once the society provides proof that it has raised the challenge funds.
While the society has until August 2013 to raise the challenge funds, Smith stated that the society would like to have the new restroom facilities ready for next Civil War reenactment at the Cross Keys House in April of that year.
“The rest room facilities are our most significant need for tourism support and are a requirement prior to the demolition of the existing kitchen facility,” Smith wrote. “t would be highly desirable if the new rest room facility could be in place by our next Civil War reenactment scheduled for late April 2013 and its estimated cost is within the county reserve of $65,000.”
Sinclair presented Smith’s letter to council Tuesday evening and council voted to take up the matter at its January meeting in order to give it time to review the minutes from the June meeting and see how the funds were allocated and how they were to be paid out.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.