Survey asks if city should support Heritage Center


The Finance Committee of the Havre City Council will wait until July to decide its role in the future of the Heritage Center in order to better gauge public support for the building, committee chair Tom Farnham said this morning.

In a meeting on June 9 with Clack Foundation vice president Elaine Morse and H. Earl Clack Museum manager Emily Mayer, Farnham agreed to bring before the committee the possibility of providing janitorial service, snow removal and possibly other maintenance operations.

This morning he said the committee will not hear the issues until its July 7 meeting to give people time to respond to a questionnaire appearing in the quarterly city of Havre newsletter.

The questionnaire asks: "Should the City of Havre support the operational costs of the Heritage Center?" Respondents can check a box for yes or no, and there is also a space for comments.

Farnham said he expects the committee and the council to approve the proposals, and that depending on the support shown in the survey, other options may be discussed as well.

Those could include monetary help, he said, but added that he thinks there is not much more the city can do.

Havre Mayor Bob Rice said this morning that about 3,500 of the newsletters are printed quarterly and and distributed in locations around town. The newsletter was first printed two weeks ago.

Rice said responses can be taken or mailed to City Hall or enclosed in people's water bills. He said he hopes to get 100 responses by the end of June. The next City Council meeting will be on July 7.

Rice said he has so far received about six responses, and that they are split as to what city involvement should be.

Rice said the low response so far suggests a lack of interest on the part of the community.

"I don't think there's a lot of people that care about the Heritage Center from the results I'm getting because if they did I'd be getting more responses," Rice said.

Mayer said that she has been approached by many people who do care.

"The response that I've heard from people informally ... is that people are supportive of the Heritage Center," she said.


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