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September 20, 2013

No alarm bells ringing for fire museum in Jeffersonville

Tourism bureau dedicates money to museum in flux

JEFFERSONVILLE — Despite possible legal action that may be filed against the Vintage Fire Museum and Safety Education Center, a tourism bureau dedicated $25,000 to the organization.

At the Jeffersonville City Council meeting Monday the possibility of the council filing legal action against the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission was discussed because the council believes the commission did not follow the proper procedure to enter into a lease with the Clark County Museum and the Vintage Fire Museum. If legal action is filed, both entities would also be named in the suit.

But there is little concern among those who are working to relocate the fire museum in the former Bales Auto site along Spring Street that the effort will be thwarted.

The Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau dedicated $25,000 to the fire museum Wednesday to install garage doors on the building in order to be able to move exhibits in and out of the building. The board had also previously designated $250,000 to pay off loans to buy equipment at the fire museum.

Tony Singleton, tourism board member and member of the board’s marketing committee who presented the $25,000 request, said the board stands behind the fire museum.

“The fire museum is an asset to this community, its collection is renowned and this board will do everything in its power to support that mission,” he said. “It makes sense in my view to have it here. Between that and the [Clark] County museum both are really viable projects that could draw some folks in. That’s what this organization is trying to do.”The Jeffersonville City Council may file legal action to stop progress on the two museums planning to locate at properties purchased by the city to construct the previous administration’s plan for a canal. The Clark County Museum would be located on property along Michigan Avenue. The council asked its Attorney Scott Lewis to file a declaratory judgment to determine if the process the Redevelopment Commission took in leasing space to the fire and Clark County museums was legal. In addition, the council questioned whether or not the two properties needed to be rezoned.

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