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Shawnee's Santa Fe Depot museum to receive tourism funds

Vicky O. Misa

This week Shawnee City Commissioners unanimously voted in favor of authorizing the city to enter into a contract agreement with the Pottawatomie County Historical Society downtown.

As a tourist destination, the museum at the Santa Fe Depot site on Main Street would make specific tourism-related efforts, and in return, the city will compensate the museum financially — in total, $300,000 spread over a period of five years.

Funding is to be given in various amounts annually, starting with a one-time lump sum payment of $150,000 due upon execution of the agreement; an annual fee of $50,000 due by the end of the month; an annual fee of $40,000 due by March 31, 2021; an annual fee of $30,000 due by March 31, 2022; an annual fee of $20,000 due by March 31, 2023; an annual fee of $10,000 due by March 31, 2024; and no annual fee shall be due by the city to the museum thereafter.

Shawnee City Manager Chance Allison said the depot is already a well-known destination in Shawnee, and assisting the museum is a great opportunity to advance tourism locally; the tourism funds can help the site jump start its operation.

He said, as part of the agreement, the museum will provide adequate utilities, temperature-controlled heating and cooling systems, restrooms, furnishings and equipment appropriate for building design, property insurance and general liability insurance suitable for the use of space.

For more information about the Pottawatomie County Museum — Paul and Ann Milburn Center, visit The facility is at 614 E. Main St.