Canyon Countys dedicated levy for history-related efforts, traditionally funneled directly to the county historical society, will be spread among six communities this year, commissioners announced in letters to applicants.
A total of $90,241 is promised, assuming the levy funds come in as expected. The biggest award goes to Middleton, which sought $50,000 to create a historical museum and is slated to receive $47,000.
The Canyon County Historical Society, which runs a history museum in downtown Nampas old train depot and a small museum in Caldwell, is scheduled for $30,000 less than a quarter of the $140,000 it requested. In the past, the historical society has received the full levy of about $90,000 and this year was hoping the levy would be higher.
Historical society leaders could not be reached for comment Thursday, but they had lobbied hard for higher funding, saying the envisioned cut could force them to dramatically reduce museum hours and other offerings.
None of the recipients got everything they asked for, but most came close. Other recipients are the Notus Community Museum, $6,000; Old Fort Boise Historical Society in Parma, $3,241; and $2,000 each to the Greenleaf Historical Society for museum improvements and Caldwell Planning and Zoning for interpretative signs in a city historic district. Two applications, from the Nampa Public Library and the Wilder Museum Committee, were turned down.
Commissioners mailed out letters to applicants Tuesday, but they have been saying since August that they planned to revise their approach to distributing the money so that the countys small towns could benefit.
Funds come from a small dedicated tax levy up to 0.012 percent of each dollar of taxable value that has been in place since 1973.
The money comes from taxpayers everywhere in the county, and it needs to benefit everybody in the county, County Commission Chairman David Ferdinand told the Statesman in August.
The decision sparked great concern and protests from the private nonprofit Canyon County Historical Society, which has counted on the county levy for the lions share of its funding since the levy began.
The county receives the levy money with the property tax payments, which are due in December and June. Checks are generally distributed to recipients in January and July.
Kristin Rodine: 377-6447