Archive for Thursday, December 31, 2009

Area officials weigh in on Ag Hall’s troubles

December 31, 2009

Area city officials say they support the Ag Hall of Fame staying around but recognize the road ahead will be tough for the governing board.

Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith said his city had done much to promote the center through the years.

The hall’s current financial situation, he said, is more a matter of a failing game of catch up.

“It’s just the Ag Hall started out with no major financial base and they, in my opinion, have never caught up, have never caught ahead. But I think the city has done all it can to promote them,” Smith said.

Basehor Mayor Terry Hill said perhaps the area could do more to support the center, but he said the current economic climate may prevent the community from being able to do so.

“Categorically, in general, yes, I think the whole community should help support the Ag Hall of Fame,” Hill said. “It’s not just for Wyandotte County. Now whether or not the surrounding communities have the resources, I don’t know.”

It would be a great misfortune however, Smith and Hill both said, to lose such a historic landmark.

“It would be a major loss to the whole metro area,” Smith said. “It has been so much a part of tourism dating back to the ’60s. It would be sad to see it go.”

Hill, who grew up on a farm, said the center had meant a lot to him personally throughout his life. Despite the hall’s financial problems, he said the center brought much to the community.

“As mayor, obviously it’s an asset to the whole area, the Unified Government and to Basehor and the surrounding area. It’s historically very important to the community,” Hill said. “Historically, it would be a tragic loss (for it to close permanently).”

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