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April 14, 2011 7:22 am

EDITORIAL: Museum, Legion move forward

Written by Don Amend

Cooperative solutions sought

Complicated issues often end up becoming contentious issues, but a meeting in Powell last week went a long way toward preventing that from happening.

At that meeting, the city of Powell, Park County, the Homesteader Museum Association and the American Legion agreed to work together to resolve ownership issues concerning the little piece of Powell that houses Homesteader Museum and the American Legion to the benefit of both entities as well as the county.

The basic issue is that the museum is outgrowing the building it occupies. It is complicated because the land itself belongs to the city of Powell, but the museum building and the Legion Hall both belong to the Legion, while the collection in the museum and the museum’s back building belong to Park County.

The issue threatened to become contentious in February when it was suggested at a Park County Commission meeting that the county might consider purchasing the land where the Legion hall is located. Legion members had not been consulted on the issue and became upset.

Fortunately, apologies defused the situation, and last week’s meeting produced some possible solutions, with just about everyone at the meeting agreeing that leaving the museum at the site and finding an alternative site for the Legion was the best idea.

That would give the museum more room to expand, but it raises the problem of where the Legion should relocate, and, while it could use the proceeds of selling the old building to the county, it would be difficult for the organization to pay for a new building. So, the Park County Museum Board and the Homesteader Museum Association suggested that they would join with the Legion to raise the needed money.

The location of a new Legion hall is still an issue, however, and county commissioners need to decide how much money they will put into the project.

All parties, though, have agreed to continue to meet to resolve the issues amicably, and everybody involved is to be commended for moving toward a solution in a civil manner.

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