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Slavery Museum moves forward page 2
U.S. National Slavery Museum gives account of progress.


Date published: 4/23/2005

By PAMELA GOULD

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Chris Hornung, vice president of commercial planning and engineering for The Silver Cos. and the developer's point person on the museum project, said the museum could easily spend $1 million on infrastructure over the next five months.

Rodenberg said, however, that the contract allows for extensions if museum officials run into problems. He said he expects an update on the project in September from Damron or museum Executive Director Vonita W. Foster.

Rodenberg said he is satisfied with this year's annual report though it gave no breakdown of how the $1 million was being spent, just a total figure.

"You get the flavor of what they're doing from their report," he said in a recent interview.

The city manager said a March 1 presentation to the City Council by Damron, information he receives from the city's building and development services staff and ongoing communication with Hornung round out the picture.

"There are a number of ways we're getting input," he said.

The 2004 report received this March 30 included the narrative, a total figure for expenditures and a 2003 tax return--a return the city received last March.

Rodenberg said Foster told him last week that the 2004 return would be provided upon completion. According to IRS rules, a nonprofit corporation operating on a calendar year has until May 16 to file its 2004 return.

During 2004, the museum spent $110,539 on governmental services. Last year's annual report showed expenditures of $86,546.46--none of it for construction-type activity.

The 2003 report showed expenditures in three areas: personnel, a museum study for promoting tourism, and educational offerings such as a traveling exhibit, brochures, the museum's Web site and a concept paper.

According to this year's annual report, the $110,539 appears to have gone toward site clearing, erosion control, building the parkway and installing water and sewer lines.

The next steps for the museum are grading the property and pouring a foundation--both of which should happen soon, according to Damron. The agreement, however, does not allow any of the city's $1 million to go toward constructing the museum building.

The 2004 annual report lists as "in progress" both environmental and cultural resource assessments and a comprehensive plan to protect them in all of Celebrate Virginia South. It also states that traffic and transportation studies for the district are "in progress."


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