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Drawings detail plans for the front and sides of the Birthplace of Country Music Heritage Museum. (File photo by Earl Neikirk/Bristol Herald Courier)

Bristol council OKs agreement to boost music museum

February 06, 2013

Check out this article BY ROGER BROWN | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER |Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 9:15 pm | Updated: 9:22 pm, Tue Feb 5, 2013.

BRISTOL, Tenn. –– The Bristol Tennessee City Council approved an agreement Tuesday to provide the planned Birthplace of Country Music downtown museum with as much as $600,000 over several years.

Council members unanimously approved a resolution making the agreement official: It calls for Bristol to provide the museum with a guaranteed $300,000 – paid in $100,000 installments – over the next three years. The remaining $300,000 would be available as no-interest loan funding if the museum needs help meeting costs during its first five years of operation.

Construction has already begun, and the museum is expected to open in August 2014.

Councilwoman Margaret Feierabend praised the agreement to support the museum, saying it clearly shows that Bristol strongly backs the project, while also providing money for the facility in a responsible, accountable way.

"It's a very good agreement," Feierabend said.

In a related move, council members elected Councilman David Shumaker to represent the City Council on the newly formed BCM board, which will help oversee the museum's operations.

Shumaker was selected by a 3-2 vote over fellow Councilman Ben Zandi, who voted for himself and also won support from Councilwoman Michelle Dolan.

Feierabend and Mayor Joel Staton joined Shumaker in supporting Shumaker’s bid for the BCM board spot.

In other activity Tuesday, the council:
•Was strongly urged by Chainfree Bristol Director Liza Conway to strengthen the city's laws against the chaining – or "tethering" – of dogs throughout the community.

Conway noted that it had been five years since Bristol approved a law restricting how dogs can be chained. But she said the current law was too vague and weak, and called for the Bristol City Council to pursue a total ban on chaining dogs, much like many other communities nationwide, including nearby Asheville, N.C.

"The time has come to make Bristol a shining example to our region on the proper way to care for a dog," Conway told council members. "The time has come to be a leader."
•Heard a presentation by Tom Padgett, director of Tennessee High School's Mighty Viking band, seeking community support for the band's effort to raise money to finance its planned performance in a prestigious Thanksgiving 2013 parade in Philadelphia.

Padgett said it will cost an estimated $85,000 for the 125-member band to travel and perform in the Philadelphia parade. "We feel it's perfectly attainable," Padgett said of the fundraising goal.

During 2012, the Tennessee High band performed in a national Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C.

rbrown@bristolnews.com

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