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Museum's Future Uncertain - KOAM TV 7

Museum's Future Uncertain

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS - Serving the past 3 years as the director and curator of the Crawford County Historical Museum, Mark Dulek has an expansive knowledge of the museum grounds.  

But Dulek's role was as an unpaid volunteer, the museum's only staff member, and now that Dulek is stepping away from his role, the museum is closing it's doors.  

"Nobody on the [museum] board wanted to take over as the president of the [Crawford County Historical] society and run the museum," Dulek said. "They had regular jobs. I have to go find a job. There isn't enough time in the day to do everything here. And  I could see it had to be given to somebody else."

Dulek says the site faces two major obstacles.

"First they need to figure out who can run the museum," Dulek said. "And then they need to figure out how to fund it."

A sentiment shared by Crawford County Commissioner, Tom Moody.

"It started out as the historical society was running it. And Mark was in charge of that. But it's more than a one-man job," Moody said. "We did up the budget last year, a little bit. Not a whole lot but up to $12,000. Again, that's not a great deal of money to run an operation like that. But we want to do what we can to see that it stays open."

Commissioner Moody believes the situation has drawn attention to the museum's needs. And it's supporters are beginning to step up.

"I've received several calls from individuals, groups, that are very interested in getting it back open," Moody said. "So I feel real good in saying that it'll be open before too much longer."

"They need to get behind this and fund it long term for stability," Dulek said. "Not just a 5-year plan or a 10-year plan. This is one of the biggest cities in Kansas. It should have a stable museum."

Commissioner Moody says he believes the County Commission will increase funding for the museum for the upcoming fiscal year. Though he  doesn't expect a significant increase which could fund a full-time staff position.
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