City leaders agree to help offset cost of roof replacement at History and Fishing Museum

Matt Algarin
City leaders agree to help offset cost of roof replacement at History and Fishing Museum

The old saying “Ask and you shall receive” isn’t always a given, but in the case of the Destin History and Fishing Museum it worked out Monday night.

With ongoing repairs to the Stahlman Avenue facilities roof underway, John Lefler, the museum board’s treasurer, asked city leaders for financial help to offset the $21,000 it would cost to replace the roof.

“What the city is willing to give,” Lefler said when prompted for how much money he was seeking. “If we could get something in the area of half from the city.”

The repairs to the roof are being done above the area of the museum that formerly housed the city’s Senior Center. Since the museum took over the space, renovations have been taking place in earnest. The leaky roof is just part of the project to convert the space into a useable area for the museum.

Lefler told city leaders the  museum board was very grateful they are able to lease the building from the city for $1 annually, but the damage to the roof and subsequent repairs would almost drain their coffers.

With $30,000 in its council contingency fund, Councilman Tuffy Dixon was willing to put forth a motion to approve $10,000 in funding to the museum for repair work.

Councilman Rodney Braden said he was willing to contribute $5,000, as he would have liked to see the item come to city leaders before the work was started, not after the fact.

“I just have a hard time spending $10,000 of our money right now,” he said, noting the city only had $30,000 to last the rest of the year.

When it came time to vote, city leaders approved the $10,000 in funding with a 5-1 vote. Councilman Braden was the lone no vote.

“Thanks, council for helping to preserve this artifact and this city,” Lefler said.