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Historical Society seeks $1 million grant

MARYSVILLE Marysville Historical Society President Ken Cage said he would deliver the grant application in person.

Cage planned to be in Olympia May 12 in time to meet a May 14 deadline.

Historical Society officials are hoping to obtain up to $1 million in state dollars to help with construction of a new Marysville museum on Armar Road near Jennings Memorial Park with plans to buy an additional adjacent property.

The extra land, Cage added, will allow for a larger museum than initially planned, as well create more parking space.

"We feel it will be more than a museum, but a real focal point for the city," Cage told a meeting of the historical society, a meeting that included an update on the project for city officials in attendance.

"The city is looking at any way we can help," said Mayor Dennis Kendall.

While he declined to give details, Kendall said a major announcement should be on its way soon.

In the meantime, as he has in the past, Cage said he feels the society is in a good position to gain favor with the state. The grant amounts to a matching funds, so a key was for the society to gain a significant amount of funding.

Cage later added the society has to show the project is a viable one, with a group supporting it, one ready and able to make things happen. The society hired an experienced grant writer to help them make their case.

According to Cage, some 13 different departments or state staffers will review the grant application. Local supporters should know by August whether or not they were successful.

Regarding the museum design, Cage said work is in the final review stages. At a meeting of the historical society in February, architect Scott Kirkland said he envisions a two-story building built from recycled materials and complete with multiple exhibit halls and meeting rooms.

Society trustee Steve Muller is the financial officer for the project and believes the fundraising goals set are achievable.

"I really think this is doable or I wouldn't be standing here today," he said.

The price tag of the museum has been estimated at about

$3 million. Cage said even with the grant money, the society will need pledges and contributions to make the museum a reality. The group plans some future fundraisers, but no details have been set.

At the group's meeting last week, Cage bragged there is at least one highly tangible indicator that the society is on the right track.

"The most prominent sign of our advancement is that we have hired our first employee," Cage said.

The society recently brought in an office assistant to handle phone calls and other duties.

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