Journey to the Earl Scruggs Center Continued… Pt-7 (end of series)

Cleveland County Historical Collections Policy 8 Page Document And Who Enforces It

This document was developed by Curator of Collections, County staff, and the Museum Archival Committee before being presented to Commissioners. The Curator of Collections is Annmarie Reiley-Kay, who is paid with county funds given to Destination Cleveland County for this purpose, and she reports to DCC. The Museum Archival Committee is appointed by the County Commissioners. The three members are Melani Wray, Wanda Crotts, and Libby Sarazen. They have served as the Museum Archival Committee since 2008.

At the February 19, 2013 Commissioners Meeting, Museum Archival Committee member Melani Wray presented a copy of the Cleveland County Historical Collections Policy to Commissioners.

The eight page document outlines the scopes and uses of the museum collection and states that “Cleveland County maintains and cares for the 15,000 artifacts in its historical collection and in order to care for the collectionly properly, Cleveland County will no longer be accepting artifacts to its pre-existing collection.”

What is does not state is that Destination Cleveland County is now accepting artifacts and their artifacts are being stored at the same storage facility as the county artifacts, and the Curator of Collections, Annmarie Reiley-Kay, is paid by the county and reports to Destination Cleveland County. So the county is paying for storage of DCC’s property and paying a curator to care for them. The way her salary is paid, the county pays DCC $45,000 per year and DCC pays the money to Annmarie.

The historical collections policy document defines the terms of loaning the artifacts. “They may be lent to any institution which meets the “American Association of Museums’ definition of a museum (i.e., a nonprofit institution essentially educational or aesthetic in purpose, with professional or volunteer staff, and capable of maintaining objects.” DCC Chairwoman Brownie Plaster said they plan for the Earl Scruggs Center to qualify for American Association Museum status.

“Outgoing loans will be for periods of not more than 5 years, though the loan agreement may be renewed on a five year basis should the borrowing institution or Cleveland County require the artifacts for a longer term. All loans will be presented by the Curator of Collections, and renewed by the Museum Archival Committee.”

“Cleveland County will permit photographs to be taken of items from the permanent collection under controlled conditions. Photograph duplications and photos of collection objects will not be made for publication or for the intent of reproducing the object without specific written permission from Cleveland County. Anyone requesting for duplication of an object must state, in writing, what the intended us of the materials is for.
Staff resrves the right to deny the right to duplicate objects from the collection if it is deemed that the use is not appropriate.”

“De-accessioning is the process by which an object, artifact, or biological specimen is permanently removed from the collection.”

Picture 464“All who request access to collections not on exhibit are required to complete the access to collections form, stating their purpose and type of access requested. Authorization for access will lie at the discretion of the Curator of Collections. Refusal may be appealed to the Board of Commissioners.”

Commissioner Susan Allen made the motion, seconded by Commissioner Eddie Holbrook, and unanimously adopted by the Board to approve the Cleveland County Historical Collections Policy.

It should be noted that Destination Cleveland County invited the public to the storage facility at the old Hunter School on August 7, 2010 to view the artifacts. At that time, they had been down there at the storage facility since that were moved from the courthouse May 2-3, 2008, more than two years before. The artifacts were stacked on shelves, and packed into boxes, in a warehouse setting.

County Commissioners Add An Addendum To The Destination Cleveland County Lease Agreement For The Earl Scruggs Center

At their April 2, 2013 meeting, County Commissioners say that DCC wants to change three things on the lease for the old courthouse to be used for the Earl Scruggs Center.

They want to extend the date for the Earl Scruggs Center to be completed and operational to December 31, 2013, as they got an extension from the EDA grant to December 7, 2013.

1. They want to change the amount of free time for Cleveland County residents to tour the Earl Scruggs Center from 8 hours per week to one day per week, as they are only going to be open for 30 hours per week.

2. They want to change the name from Earl Scruggs Center: Songs and Stories of the Carolina Foothills to Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories from the American South.

County Manager Eddie Bailes said all other items in the lease are in full force and effective. J.T. Scruggs was in attendance for Destination Cleveland County.

Only three commissioner were present: Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Hutchins, and Susan Allen. The vote to approve DCC’s request was unanimous.

Destination Cleveland County Requests To Borrow $700,000 From USDA Rural Development

Destination Cleveland County announced in The Star on June 10, 2013 that a public hearing will be held on June 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. in the reception area of the Don Gibson Theatre by the Board of Destination Cleveland County, Inc. for the purpose of receiving public comment on the furnishing of the Earl Scruggs Center.

DCC is considering a loan from USDA Rural Development for $700,000 for the development of this project, so holding a public hearing was part of “formalizing” the loan. With it being a federal loan, there was a requirement that an advertisement had to run in the newspaper.

According to County financial records, Cleveland County released Check #227119 for $100,000 on May 8, 2013 to Destination Cleveland County per DCC’s request as an advance on the loan of $755,400 they borrowed from the County on December 18, 2013. This loan was made on the contengincy that DCC could get a second loan of $633,000 from a lending agency, and DCC could get EDA to extend their grant that required opening day of the Earl Scruggs Center to be April 7, 2013. It was agreed between DCC representative J.T. Scruggs and the County Commissioners at the December 18, 2013 County Commissioners Meeting that the $755,400 loan money could not be touched until the second loan had been secured by DCC and the extended date was approved by EDA.

EDA extended the opening date of the Earl Scruggs Center to December 7, 2013 and the County Commissioners extended the opening date to December 31, 2013.

For the shortfall DCC needed to open- the second loan of $633,000- DCC applied to USDA for $700,000. As of July 8, 2013, the USDA confirmed that the loan is not active as of yet.
So why was a $100,000 “advance” check given by the County to DCC before the USDA activated the second loan to DCC? If the second loan had been secured, wouldn’t it have said the $100,000 disbursed by Cleveland County on May 8, 2013 was a “draw” on the loan and not an “advance”? If DCC had a second loan (the loan with USDA) secured, would they have written in the June 10, 2013 newspaper advertisement of the upcoming public hearing that they are “considering a loan from USDA Rural Development”?