On August 4, Muskegon county voters will consider a millage renewal that helps support the Lakeshore Museum Center and the Hackley and Hume Historic Site. This millage support has already been in place for 40 years and the renewal is for another 10 years.
The millage issue was on the May 5 ballot but due to concerns with COVID-19, the countywide election was canceled. However, three municipalities still held elections for their local issues. Votes cast on those pre-printed ballots for the museum millage were not counted. Therefore, residents countywide now will vote on the museum millage issue in the election primary on August 4.
For the past 40 years, Muskegon County residents have voted in favor of the millage that brings Muskegon’s history education alive for more than 50,000 visitors annually. “Muskegon has so much history to be proud of and we love sharing it!” said Annoesjka Soler, President and CEO of Lakeshore Museum Center. “The millage covers 65% of the budget to deliver the more than 600 programs annually at our nine sites. Fees, grants, and donations help cover the remaining 35% of the budget.”
The millage title on the ballot is “Millage Renewal to Advance the Historical Interests of the County of Muskegon.” The renewal has decrease from .3221 mills to .0029 mills due to Headlee rollbacks. The average Muskegon homeowner will pay $32.00 per year to help fund the museum and all its
programming. For roughly the cost of two supreme pizzas, Muskegon County residents receive free admission to the museum, 11 free days to tour the Historic Sites, and free admission to many additional museum events like Friday Family Fun Nights.
The museum provides free programming to 199 classrooms throughout Muskegon County that account for 25,000 student lessons. Students get hands-on experiences to learn about Muskegon history and the “STEM” sciences that led Muskegon innovation. “Students leave our multiple sites with pride about Muskegon’s history and are excited to return another time with their parents to share what they learned on their field trip,” Soler said. ”During the COVID closure, we created ‘Museum-at-Home’ on our website, a page filled with activities, videos, and podcasts for all ages to enjoy. Whether our physical doors are open or not, we give Muskegon residents what they are paying for, and that is exceptional experiences and learning opportunities connected to the fabulous Muskegon history we collect, preserve, and exhibit.”
About Lakeshore Museum Center
Since 1937, the Lakeshore Museum Center has collected, preserved, and interpreted the history of Muskegon County through historic exhibits, education and cultural-based programs, and special events and presentations for all ages. The Center is comprised of nine sites and buildings including the Main, Archive, Collection Center, Hackley & Hume Historic Site with City Barn, the Fire Barn Museum, and the Scolnik House of the Depression Era, and the Muskegon Heritage Museum. www.lakeshoremuseum.org