Budget conference: Jacksonville Music History Museum in the money
Lynyrd Skynyrd steps up for Hurricane Ian aid.

Cowford cash carved out for casket factory renovation.

Cash from Tallahassee could help turn a dormant Jacksonville casket factory into something more full of life.

House and Senate budget committees have agreed to allot $500,000 for the renovation of a onetime coffin plant, which will be repurposed as the Jacksonville Music History Museum.

The 13,500 square foot, three-story facility, built in 1882, is expected to be a showcase for Jacksonville’s musical history and include a performance venue. The state funds are intended to match $550,000 in local spending and nearly $670,000 from the private sector.

“The renovation and adaptive re-use of the ‘Casket Factory’ is faithful to the mission of the Jacksonville Historical Society: to strengthen citizenship by engaging and educating Jacksonville’s people about their history, through preserving and sharing the evidence of the city’s past and by advocating the value of historic preservation which strengthens economic growth,” reads the funding request.

The building will house the archives and exhibits of the Jacksonville Area Music Museum, but will also hold more invaluable history.

“The building will also house the ever-growing principal archival repository for Duval County. The Jacksonville Historical Society’s archives are particularly valuable because no other organization or institution serves all of Duval County’s public history needs and no municipal public archives exist,” the request adds.

“The Jacksonville Historical Society’s archival collections, which include the Florida Times-Union’s photograph library, will enable researchers to locate, identify, interpret, preserve, and share Jacksonville’s rich history and to share aspects of Jacksonville’s history with the programming of educational events.”

While this issue, a priority of Sen. Clay Yarborough, appears wrapped, other budget matters are outstanding.

Budget conference subcommittees will meet throughout the week to resolve differences in each area. When remaining issues reach an impasse, they will be “bumped” to the full budget conference committee.

Lawmakers must reach an agreement on a final spending plan by May 2 to meet the 72-hour “cooling off” period required by the state constitution before they can vote on the budget to avoid pushing the Regular Session past its scheduled May 5 end date.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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