ROY -- An icon of the Roy community may be closing its doors if residents don't open their wallets.
Board members of the Roy Historical Museum made an emotional plea to the city council Tuesday night for a way for the museum to raise more money or the doors will close after the first of the year.
The museum is a nonprofit entity and is feeling the effects of the economic crunch.
Jean George, president of the museum board, became emotional while talking about the problem.
"This is close to my heart. I have helped for 10 years, and we are facing serious financial problems," she said.
Usually the museum gets $2,500 to $3,000 in membership fees, but this year has received only $700.
"We feel like we're robbing Peter to pay Paul," George said.
Other cities contribute to their own museum committees and are affiliated directly, but the Roy museum works differently because of its nonprofit status.
The city helps with some fundraising events, but doesn't have a designated amount in its budget to give the museum.
George made it clear the museum board is not looking for a handout, but pitched an idea on how to get help.
She explained that Murray officials used its water bills to give residents the option of donating to the city museum and wondered if Roy could do the same thing for its historical museum.
"I find this idea to be very attractive," said Mayor Joe Ritchie.
He said he likes the idea of getting the community involved and letting residents know there is a need.
Ritchie said the donations can be tax-deductible because of the museum's nonprofit status.
George talked about the many events the museum sponsors throughout the year, including an essay contest for area youth, an art show and Roy city reunion, among other activities.
She explained the museum has received Weber County RAMP tax money to help restore an old fire truck, but that RAMP funds -- which come from a tax approved by voters in 2004 that allows the county to impose a local sales tax of one-tenth of 1 percent, which is 1 cent on a $10 sale, to improve recreation, arts, museums and parks -- cannot go for day-to-day operating costs.
"We have this beautiful museum, and we hate to see it close," George said.
Shirley Dickinson, a past president, current museum board member and a volunteer, said the museum has enough money to get through the end of the year, but if something doesn't turn around, it will have to close in 2010.
The museum is run by volunteers, and that number has dropped off as well.
"A lot of people who have donated and volunteered have gone to heaven," said volunteer Todd Perkins.
When he first started helping out more than 18 years ago, he would have to call one month ahead of time to get a time to volunteer. Now, board members are begging for volunteers.
"The younger generation just doesn't want to volunteer," Perkins said.
The city council directed staff to move forward with putting a donation check-off box on utility bills as soon as possible.
"It's important to note that you didn't come in with a hand out saying, 'Please, please give in these economic times.' You came with a solution," Ritchie told members of the museum board.
For more information on donating or volunteering, call the Roy Historical Museum at (801) 776-3626. The museum, 5550 S. 1700 West, is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Admission is free, but donations are welcome.