Sac Valley Museum fights for state dollars

Last chance for endowment grant

For a second time, the Sacramento Valley Museum will ask the State of California for a grant that could be used to help renovate the 106-year-old facility that once served as Williams High School.

The California Cultural and Historical Endowment, through the state’s Natural Resources Agency, awarded 18 California museums a total of $2.5 million during the first round of funding in 2015.

Applications for the last cycle of funding are due Aug. 15, said Gary Price, the City of Williams’ grant coordinator.

“It is a very competitive grant,” Price said. “We were turned down the first time.”

Museum officials have requested $125,000 from the state, largely to help with infrastructure needs like plumbing and restroom facilities, an updated electrical system, expanding the parking area, new exterior fixtures that are more energy efficient, and an ADA accessible lift to the second floor, officials said at a public workshop on Wednesday.

The museum also hopes to install permanent multi-cultural exhibits and expand exhibition space, education activities, and cultural programs.

The 16,000 square-foot museum contains multiple rooms of exhibits that represent the Sacramento Valley from the mid 19th through the mid 20th century. Exhibits include the history of prominent citizens and the businesses of Colusa County in the late 19th century, as well as pioneer artifacts, documents, and textiles.

The museum houses a Williams High School alumni room dedicated to students who were educated in the building between 1911 and 1956, and a room dedicated to veterans who served in the military, from the Civil War to present.

Museum officials said Wednesday the improvements they plan to make will not compromise the integrity of the exhibits or historical nature of the structure.

“This is a historical building, and you don’t want to damage what you can’t replace,” said Caroline Vann, Director.

The second round of funding (approximately $2 million) is available from Proposition 40, the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Act of 2002.

Price said the first grant application was turned down because the City of Williams, which owns the property, applied for the funding. The Williams City Council has since authorized, by Resolution, the Sacramento Valley Museum to act on its own behalf when submitting the next application, he said.

The grant will require a 100 percent match, half of which is required to be cash, and half of which can come from in-kind services.

Future funding for museum projects is expected to come from proceeds from the Snoopy Special Interest License Plate program (www.snoopyplate.com).