County OKs Historical Commission grants
The Collin County Commissioners Court on Monday voted 4-1 to approve $34,000 in Collin County Historical Commission grants to various county organizations.
County Judge Keith Self, while emphasizing he strongly supports efforts in the county to preserve history, said he voted against the proposal partly because the grant amounts have increased by 300 percent since the program began in 2009.
That year, the county commissioners approved $12,000 in grants. In 2010, the amount was $20,700, and last year $26,000.
Self said he feels some of the grants were not really necessary, like when the commissioners approved $4,580 to help the Heritage Association of Frisco build a calaboose (old jail) at the Frisco Heritage Center. He said the organization already had more than $17,000 for that project.
"When we first started this program, it was to help the neediest of the organizations in the county," Self said.
A large crowd of people representing the historical commission and grant recipients were there to hear the commissioners discuss and vote on the proposed grants.
Michael Black, a member of the historical commission's Grants Committee, presented the proposals to the commissioners. He said the county commissioners, had they chosen to do so, could have voted against providing a grant to any of the 15 recipients.
"If they had voted not to support one or more of the grants, the funds would have just gone back into our general budget," Black said.
He said the county commissioners approved $49,000 for this fiscal year for the Collin County Historical Commission. Grants make up the bulk of the commission's budget, although it has other expenses such as providing for historical markers, rental fees and sometimes speaker fees.
He said historical commission members will not be using program expenses for fees at a state historical commission meeting that will not be held this year. He also said a state-funded movie that had been provided free at a workshop kept the historical commission from paying for special speakers for the workshop, and said that created the opportunity for a larger percentage of the historical commission's budget to go toward grants.
In addition to the funds provided for the Frisco project, other grant funding approved Monday included:
Allen Heritage Guild, $900; Stoney Point Cemetery Association in Anna, $4,080; Snow Hill Cemetery Association in Farmersville, $4,830; Heard-Craig Center for the Arts in McKinney, $1,000; The Cemetery Association of Murphy, $1,780; Bear Creek Cemetery Foundation in Nevada, $4,080; The Plano Conservatory, $2,480; Collin County Genealogical Society, $4,530; Heritage Farmstead Museum (Garden) $2,080; Heritage Farmstead Museum (book), $2,080; and Young Family Cemetery Association, $1,580.