Hi - in March I received a letter from the New Sweden Selectmen indicating that they were no longer willing to cover the cost of fuel oil and electricity at the Museum after June 30, 2009. As far as we have been able to determine, the Town has covered these expenses for as long as anyone can remember. However, we have not been able to find written documentation regarding any agreement between the Town and the Historical Society for the payment of these expenses (if anyone knows where something might be, please let me know!!). Last year these costs amounted to $1563.14, which was 6% of the Town's "Facilities" budget line and less than 0.5% of the Town's operating budget. We are a non-profit organization, with minimal yearly income, whose mission is to preserve and support the community's Swedish heritage. As such, some financial support from the Town is essential to our ability to continue with this mission.
The New Sweden Historical Society Board is very concerned about this matter and wish to address it with the Selectmen. The next Selectmen's meeting is Tuesday, May 5, at 6.30pm at the New Sweden Town Office. I am going to bring this up during the "public comments" section of the agenda and would like as many Historical Society members as possible to be there to add in their two cents. >From the Board's perspective, the Town has covered these costs for a long time and can't just all of sudden decide to cut it out of their budget without approval from the voters. If need be, we can push for a warrant article at the June Town Meeting to formalize the Town's financial responsibility to the Historical Society.
Please pass this information along to Society members who don't have e-mail.