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Council seeking museum data page 7
Fredericksburg City Council seeks details about U.S. National Slavery Museum before granting more financial incentives

Date published: 7/10/2005


Tomzak added that he expects museum officials to provide an itemized list of how the $1 million was spent after Sept. 30--the deadline for the museum to have expended all of the funds.

He also said that he and Rodenberg were satisfied with the annual report submitted in March.

"His point was, and I agree with him, let's wait for the final accounting in September," Tom-zak said.

Though the city loaned the slavery museum $1 million, it has for years given money to the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. Over the next five years, the area museum is expected to receive $500,000 in city funds.

When asked why the two museums are treated differently, council members said it was a matter of history. The area museum has always received city support, is essentially considered the city's museum and is a draw for tourism and thus the city's economy. They also pointed out that it is an established museum and that Rodenberg and two council members sit on its board.

"I think that's a product of the political climate at the time and I think it's unfortunate, but that was the deal," Tomzak said of the previous council's decision to require the slavery museum's money be repaid to the city.

Tomzak and current council members appeared supportive, however, of giving financial aid to the slavery museum if museum officials request it.

"They haven't, but I'm supportive of the museum," Tomzak said. "I wouldn't view it as a gift but as an investment."

Staff reporter Elizabeth Pezzullo contributed to this story.

To reach PAMELA GOULD:540/657-9101pgould@freelancestar.com

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