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Slavery museum fee waiver up in air page 2
City Council votes to delay U.S. National Slavery Museum's request for fee waivers.

Date published: 7/13/2005

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"We're not asking anything we haven't asked of any other organization that is asking for money," said Kelly, who several times voiced support for the project.

Before the vote, Rodenberg told the mayor and council that museum officials will be present and available for questions July 26 when their request to build a structure that exceeds the city height limit of 90 feet is discussed. They will also be submitting a "major report" after September to account for how they've spent $1 million loaned to them.

The slavery museum is to be built on 38 acres in the Celebrate Virginia South tourism complex, just west of Interstate 95 and overlooking the Rappahannock River.

It was originally to be completed in February 2007. Last month, Foster told the city Planning Commission she was now "shooting for" October 2007.

The previous City Council approved a $1 million loan to the museum. It is being repaid through a special tax district set up within Celebrate Virginia South. As of July 1, $281,723.38 had been recouped.

If approved, the fee waiver would be the first outright gift to the museum.

The Planning Commission is recommending the council approve the museum's request for a building higher than normally allowed.

Museum officials want to build a structure that would have a peak height of about 150 feet. The museum is requesting about a 29-foot variance to include a full-scale replica slave ship as the centerpiece of the facility. The ship would stand about 118 feet tall.

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


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