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New Heritage Grant Funding for County Heritage Organizations

March 5th, 2009

This week the Snohomish County Council took a proactive step in a difficult budget situation. In 2005 the State legislature passed HB 1386 that lead to the adoption of an ordinance to formally implement use of funds collected through this legislation. Passage of Ordinance No. 08-153 by the Snohomish County Council has authorized the creation of a grant program to distribute about $45,000 in money in 2009 collected from $1 in recording fees known as the “Heritage Dollar” and originally made law by the passage in the Washington State Legislature of House Bill 1386 (HB 1386) in 2005. The motion was passed unanimously by the four members of the council present.

We believe that of the 39 counties in Washington State, Snohomish County is just the sixth to pass an ordinance to create a grant program with this money.  The other counties are Clark, Kittitas, King, Pierce and San Juan.  Our thanks go to the council members, the executive’s office and especially to Councilman Brian Sullivan who was instrumental in passing HB 1386 in 2005 and who has continued to support heritage in Snohomish County.

In a January meeting of the League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations, Councilman Sullivan expressed personal concerns knowing how difficult it is for volunteer historical organizations to provide conservation and collections care for museum artifacts, architectural and cultural resources preservation and historical programming. These funds are meant to take advantage of momentum, energy and volunteer efforts and provide encouragement and supplemental matching reimbursement funding for qualified projects. If all goes as planned, the program will be administered by the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission and non-profit heritage groups will be able to apply for these funds annually.

For background info

* http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1386&year=2006

* Council link to staff reports: http://snohomish.granicus.com/MinutesViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=847

* Council PowerPoint showing how the “Heritage Dollar” was allocated: http://snohomish.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=847&meta_id=55874

* Washington Museum Association (WMA) on HB 1386:   http://washingtonstatemuseums.org/whitepaper_HB1386.pdf

* WMA Toolkit:   http://washingtonstatemuseums.org/newsletter.html

Tracy Tallman Vice President, League of Snohomish Heritage Organizations & Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission
Karen Prasse, President, League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations

League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations; www.snocoheritage.org/blog; info@snocoheritage.org

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