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Historical society seeks funding

WARREN — The Trumbull County Historical Society wants Trumbull County commissioners to help fund 2019 programs with $75,000, but it’s unclear if the county will be able to support that request.

“Our operating budget is funded through fundraising events, memberships and individual donations and sponsorships. Currently, the majority of our staff and volunteer resources go directly to fundraising and development. With increased funding, it is our goal to shift staff and volunteer resources to program development, countywide outreach and the preservation of the artifacts in our care,” said Meghan Reed, historical society director.

Commissioner Dan Polivka said the county’s general fund budget has not been finalized, but it is expected to distribute about $47 million to county functions. Departments requested about $51.3 million for 2019.

“The historical society is an important aspect of Trumbull County. I have always supported the historical society with sponsorship of events, etc. I don’t know if we can meet the $75,000, but I am hopeful we can help with some support. To what level? That will have to be determined by the board. Our budget is tight, but I hope the board sees the importance,” Polivka said.

The money could help bring federal, state and local grant dollars to the organization and support and expand other historical society programming, Reed said.

Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa said essential services will be funded first, but recognized the value the historical society brings to the county.

“We haven’t finalized the budget yet, but the budgetary requests certainly exceed the actual 2018 budget. Mandated and essential county services are obviously our first priority. We definitely recognize the work that Meghan and the board have been doing and the programs they’ve established. That type of community development and education plays a large role in our county’s future success. Their request will certainly be given consideration,” Cantalamessa said.

A project in 2019 not dependent on money from commissioners is the acquisition of a second building that will be renovated and serve as a cultural and education center, Reed said.

The effort will transform 328 Mahoning Avenue NW, the old public defenders’ office built in 1894, into a classroom, public research facility and community room. The project will also allow the society to renovate rooms in the John Stark Edwards House to help preserve Warren’s oldest structure.

The organization is also working with schools to find the descendants of 40 World War I medal recipients who never received their medals with the hope of returning the medals to the descendants, Reed said.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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