On Sept. 6, Pat Lightbrown, with the Eckville and District Historical Society (EDHS), wrote a request to the town of Eckville requesting forgiveness for property taxes and town utilities on the historical Saari House, which EDHS is hoping will one day become the Dr. Frank Coppock Memorial Museum, and the group also asked for monies from the town’s museum fund.
During the Sept. 12 Eckville town council meeting, the letter was read in and council members voted on these requests. Council voted unanimously to exempt the property from taxation when the EDHS takes possession, but the motion to exempt the property from town utilities was defeated unanimously. There was no vote regarding disbursement of the museum funds.
Eckville Mayor Colleen Ebden explained since the EDHS doesn’t own the property yet, the town isn’t willing to give any money.
“Anybody can write in and ask the town to give them money,” Ebden said. “We said if an individual did that, it would be a no. Until such a time that they own the property, we are doing nothing.”
Ebden said this decision could be revisited once the EDHS takes possession of the property.
“I’m disappointed,” said Helen Posti, with the EDHS. “That money was always set aside for a museum fund. But we’ll have to see what happens from here. If there isn’t the interest or money coming forward, it won’t go ahead.”
The EDHS has applied to host a casino to raise funds and the group has had some donations come in.