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Museum to be built - history gets first home

"POULSBO - It's been 114 years in the making but as long-time Poulsbo resident Archie Lien put it Wednesday night, Better late than never. Lien, talking to city council, was referring to the prospects of a Poulsbo Historical Museum. Let's do it, he added. Lien wasn't alone in his position, which was also supported by Poulsbo Historical Society members Herb Myers and Bill Austin. I urge you to vote for this, Austin told council. Then we can leap forward into the past. The city agreed to take the leap, voting unanimously to convey property on Jensen Way to the society. The land is located directly across the street from the Armory. Applause accompanied the decision and gave the Poulsbo Historical Society the ability to move forward with its plan to create a museum here. The agreement between the two agencies is stringent and will keep the building schedule on a tight time line. It's a very good agreement for the city, said Barb Mitchusson, president of the PHS. They won't lose anything. According to the contract, construction of the museum must begin within 90 days after the site is transferred to the society and must be completed within two years. Once a certificate of occupancy is issued the PHS must then operate the museum for a minimum of 10 years. If any of the criteria are not met, ownership of the property and any existing improvements to the site will revert to the city. Even with such a commitment hanging over their heads, members of the Poulsbo Historical Society were truly excited about the prospect of having a hand in the city's first official museum. The location of the Jensen Way property adds to the cultural character of this area, Mitchusson said. She added that the addition of the renovated Valborg Oyen Library, the new Jewel Box Theatre and ongoing events downtown has made Poulsbo a hotbed of cultural activity. I'm very excited. The decision authorizes Mayor Donna Jean Bruce to sign an agreement for the construction and operation of the museum. The motion also allows the city to reimburse itself for the $125,593 purchase price of the land by using hotel/motel tax revenues. Poulsbo already had $59,422 set aside for the building and will use $28,000 in hotel/motel tax in 2001 and 2002 as well as an additional $10,171 in 2003. I think momentum is really gathering, Mitchusson remarked. All in all, this community is ready for its own museum and the Poulsbo Historical Society is ready to provide one. "

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