BOUNTIFUL -- County Commissioner Louenda Downs insists discussion of potential county help for a regional museum wasn't ignored, even if the county is in no rush to financially back the project.
She countered concerns raised by Bountiful City Councilman Tom Tolman in a recent meeting between county commissioners and members of the city council. Downs said county officials had weighed consideration for funding of a regional museum in Bountiful last year.
In the end, she said, there simply isn't any money for the project.
"Museums are a wonderful thing. We're asked questions about 15 museums and it's tough to pick one over another," Downs said of a meeting last year with museum officials.
Tolman raised concerns about funding for the museum at the end of a work session between the council and commissioners.
Museum organizers are currently $400,000 short of the $1.5 million needed to access a matching pledge of $750,000 by the city, which would allow the construction to move forward. They have a July 2011 deadline to raise the funds.
After the meeting, Tolman scoffed at how Downs had addressed his question about the museum and called the commissioner's response to his concerns "squirrelly."
He noted the county found the means to support a recreation center for South Davis County as well as the new theater being built in Centerville. He said the museum would serve five municipalities in the county.
Downs stressed that no taxpayer funds were used to help fund projects like the theater or recreation center, noting funding came from tourism tax funds generated throughout the county.
The regional museum will be located on South Main Street on city property between the Bountiful/Davis Arts Center and the historic Willey Cabin.
If things go as planned, the regional facility will provide 15,000 square feet of space to showcase history from throughout the southern part of the county and include a theater with seating for up to 60.