Winston-Salem children’s museum–$30 million

Scanning the headlines this morning, looking for blogable material, I came across this headline in the Winston-Salem Journal:

Forsyth County commissioners moving toward vote on paying for Kaleideum project

Not exactly earth-shattering news, I think to myself, because how much can a children’s museum cost? Well:

The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners is a step closer to voting on a way to pay for the new Kaleideum project in downtown Winston-Salem.

During the board’s briefing on Thursday, several commissioners said they would like to move forward with the project.

To pay for the $30 million museum, the county would still need to raise $24.7 million.

So now Forsyth commissioners will begin lining up the dominoes to come up with a share of the funding—selling surplus property, diverting other debt and –you guessed it—raising the property tax. But County Manager Dudley Watts warned “sometimes the dominoes don’t fall the way you think and hope they fall.” No kidding.

There’s been a private fundraising effort, but museum executive director Elizabeth Dampier told commissioners “because the project has been on hold, there has been a decline in donations as some people said they want to see more specifics about a building.” Dampier also thanked commissioners for their willingness to put out for part of the museum’s cost, but it would really be best if the county just paid for the whole thing. And–if commissioners are thinking of a bond referendum in 2020, go ahead and make it $40 million. Just in case.

Sam Hieb / Contributing Editor

Sam Hieb is freelance journalist from Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a contributing editor for Carolina Journal and for Piedmont Publius, a blog that focuses on political a...

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