Las Vegas Sun

January 31, 2015

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State pulls historic preservation grants to projects, including Mob Museum

CARSON CITY – The so-called Mob Museum won't be getting a grant it was counting on because of the state’s budget crisis.

The state Commission for Cultural Affairs in March awarded $3 million in grants to 23 projects to preserve historic buildings.

State Historic Preservation Officer Ron James said Monday the bonds to help finance those projects won't be issued. He said project organizers would be notified this week they won’t be getting the state money.

The state canceled issuance of the bonds because of a shortage of money to pay them off.

The state commission awarded $220,000 in March to the Mob Museum, the single biggest amount of any project. Officials from the Mob Museum and Neon Museum told the commission in March this would be the last time they would request money from the state.

Since 1993 the state has issued $3 million a year in bonds for historic projects. The Legislature renews the program every 10 years and it was due to expire in 2014. But the state doesn’t have the money to pay off the bonds that were approved in March.

“Since 1993 we have saved a lot of buildings,” James said. “It’s a sad day.”

Other grants included $150,000 for work on the Railroad Cottages, a group of historic buildings in Henderson, and $75,000 to the Neon Museum in Las Vegas.

The commission had approved $40,000 for Mesquite to turn the gymnasium at its high school into an all-purpose room.

Grants of $200,000 each were allocated to the Oak Park School in Fallon, the Pioneer Hotel Building in Elko and the Thunderbird Lodge at the south end of Lake Tahoe.

The museum, which is expected to cost about $42 million to construct, is being funded through a variety of sources: local, state and federal grants, matching grants and the city's redevelopment agency.

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