Everyone always says there’s no harm in asking – which is exactly what the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in downtown Greensboro did this year.
Museum leaders requested that Guilford County government give the museum a quarter of a million dollars to enhance the role the museum plays in local tourism and economic development.
Though the museum requested that the county give the taxpayers’ money to the museum, new Guilford County Manager Mike Halford didn’t include the $250,000 in his proposed 2021-2022 fiscal budget.
Halford doesn’t get the final word, however, on the upcoming budget. The final word on the adopted budget goes to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners – which, this year, is a Democrat-controlled board headed up by Chairman Skip Alston, who was one of the founders of the civil rights museum and someone who’s managed to get plenty of county funding to the museum in past years. Sometimes he’s done that at the last minute.
So, when the final Guilford County budget is approved this month by the Board of Commissioners, will the $250,000 be in there for the downtown museum? It may surprise some people, given the dynamics of the situation, but the answer is no. Alston told the Rhino Times that the money the museum requested will not be included in the final budget this year.
The Civil Rights Center and Museum isn’t the only local entity to get turned down for funding in the manager’s proposed budget after making a request. The Green Bean on South Elm Street requested $450,000 that’s not in the proposed budget; Triad Local Firstt requested $100,000 in county taxpayer funds, and the Islamic Society of High Point requested $60,000. None of those requests are currently included in the budget.