Museum bill still alive, well

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2001

FERRIDAY, La. – A bill that would authorize the Museum Division of the Secretary of State’s Office to operate the planned Louisiana Delta Music Museum is still alive and well, said Rep. Bryant Hammett, D-Ferriday.

The measure was referred from the House Local and Private Committee to the Appropriations Committee because it would cost the state about $117,000 a year to operate the facility, said Hammett.

&uot;It will be another couple of weeks before Appropriations hears it,&uot; Hammett said.

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Still, Hammett does not see the move as a bad sign. &uot;I’ve not had the opportunity yet to talk with the chair of Appropriations, but Secretary of State Fox McKeithen is excited about the project,&uot; Hammett said.

Even though the state has a tight budget, Hammett said the fact that the museum would feature music industry notables from throughout northeast Louisiana – not just Ferriday -makes it more attractive to lawmakers.

&uot;It’s a regional concept, and that will help in getting it passed because it puts more legislators on board&uot; in supporting the bill, Hammett said.

Judith Bingham, chairman of the Ferriday Chamber of Commerce’s Museum Committee, said getting the museum including in the network of State of Louisiana museums is essential to the project.

&uot;It’s going to be the road to complete success for this project,&uot; she said, noting that being part of that network would give the museum more publicity.

Meanwhile, crews have finished painting and restoring hardwood floors in the former post office building on Louisiana Avenue, which will house the new regional museum. The work is being done with a $400,000 grant the town received in September.

The current Ferriday Museum has been located since 1995 on North E.E. Wallace Boulevard in a smaller building that formerly housed a bank branch.