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County increases monetary support to museum

HARTINGTON - The county will be spending a little more this year to support the Cedar County Historical Museum.

The Cedar County Board of Commissioners heard a request for additional dollars from Julie Meirose and agreed to increase financial support by $4,000 for the next fiscal year, bringing its total support of the museum to $17,000 annually.

“We haven’t asked for an increase since 2015 but expenses continue to grow,” Meirose said.

The extra funding will be used to maintain the three-story Victorian mansion museum site which was built in 1900 by Henry Stuckenhoff. Stuckenhoff also helped construct the Cedar County Courthouse and a number of other well known Cedar County buildings.

The museum was the home of A.K. (Anton Kasper) and Clara Walz Lammers. In 1964, the home was donated by the Lammers children in memory of their parents with the purpose to preserve the history of Cedar County. Immediate infrastructure needs

Immediate infrastructure needs include a complete electrical re-wiring of the museum, a new front porch with a handicapped entry, new insulation and doors, Meirose said.

“For the last year, I’ve written grants every weekend. If there’s something to tie in to electrical, I tie into it but most grants are geared toward preservation of artifacts or a new display and not geared toward infrastructure,” she said.

Along with grants, the museum board also has a focus on fundraising. For example, an upcoming guided walking tour called The Hartington Historic Ghost Walk has been set for Sept. 24.

The museum also received funds from the Clifford Filips estate which will help with the cost of electrical work estimated at more than $50,000, Meirose said.

The museum was closed for a time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and when the museum did re-open visits were down. However, more people were conducting genealogy research from home and the museum started charging a research assistance fee, Meirose said.

“Things are picking up again. We’re getting a lot more community involvement. We’re not as focused as people coming into the museum as much as being a community presence,” she said.

At its last meeting, the board also:

- Approved building permits for Randy Papenhausen for a 60-by-80-foot machine shed; Anthony J. Hall for two grain bins; Doug Thompson for a grain bin, dryer and two augers; Curtis Klug for a 26-by-36 shed; Meridian Bridge RV Resort for a 30-by-40-foot storage building; Don Schulte for a 45-by-45-foot cabin; Jay Harmelink for a 50-by-100-foot storage shed; and Lewis & Clark Estates for a 1,700-square-foot home.

- Approved conditional use permits for Grain Co LLC to split off five acres to build a residence - with the condition to sign a setback waiver agreement due to a nearby hog barn; for Dominic Hans to split 9.76 acres from farm; and for Robert Foxhoven to split 10.10 acres.

- Revised its one-year road improvement plan.

- Discussed a potential road closure at the Cedar-Dixon county line with a public hearing set for Sept. 13.

- Discussed the current road project near Randolph and Belden, and the construction company using the county road for hauling materials.

- Approved library funding for the upcoming fiscal year which remained unchanged.

- Heard recommendations from Dan Johnson of Climate Control Systems regarding fans for the district courtroom.