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Town & Country moves forward with proposed history book

The Town & Country Board of Aldermen introduced an ordinance on Aug. 12 that provides a financial grant of $5,000 to the Town & Country Historical Society to publish a history book of the city, through a partnership with Mariann Hoffman. At the regular meeting on Aug. 26, the board approved an amended substitute bill for the grant that passed with a 6 to 1 vote. Aldermen Sue Allen [Ward 4] voted against the ordinance and Lindsey Butler [Ward 2] was absent.

Hoffman, a former resident, headed up a civic organization known as the Towne Crier News, which published newsletters from 1988 to 2005 that contained historical information about the city. Many years ago, the city’s Public Relations Commission asked Hoffman to write a book. With help from several people, Hoffman interviewed residents who had witnessed the historical growth of the city. Hoffman also was a founding member of the Historical Society, which has gathered a great deal of information and pictures, including all past Towne Crier News and various city newsletters. The commissioned book will be a collaboration between Hoffman and the Historical Society.

The substitute bill presented prior to the second reading imposed seven grant guidelines as outlined by alderman Skip Mange [Ward 1], who has been the lead on this project. An eighth guideline was recommended by alderman Tiffany Frautschi [Ward 2] and approved by the board.

The eight guidelines include:

  • The funds from the grant shall be used by the Town & Country Historical Society exclusively for the purpose of the publication of 100 copies of a history book of the city of Town & Country as drafted by Mariann Hoffman.
  • The history book will be 8.5-inch by 11-inch in size with an embossed hard cover and at least 300 sheets of archival quality paper.
  • The book shall contain both color and black & white pictures.
  • The book shall contain a disclaimer approved by the city attorney to the effect that the city is not responsible for the content of the book.
  • The city will be provided with five complementary copies of the book.
  • The Town & Country Historical Society will provide to the city a detailed report of the publication costs of the book to include copies of all invoices.
  • If the total cost of the publication is less than the amount of the grant, the remaining funds will be returned to the city.
  • If the publication does not go into print within 24 months, the grant funds shall be returned to the city of Town & Country.

The estimated cost for an initial publication of 100 hard-bound copies is approximately $6,300.

The public relations programs expenditure account of the 2019 general fund budget will be amended in the amount of $5,000 using unappropriated funds from the general fund.

Allen explained she finds the project worthy and supports the publishing of the history book, but feels it would be best to raise the funds through private donations or fundraising rather than use taxpayer funding, which is why she voted against the measure.

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