By Kevin Aldridge
Enquirer staff writer
DOWNTOWN - The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is expected to be among Cincinnati's many budget casualties next year.
Mayor Charlie Luken said in a memo sent to council members Tuesday that the city's financial situation would force him to recommend dramatic cutbacks on the money given to dozens of local organizations.
Luken said several requests made by organizations for funds from the capital budget would not be granted. He pointed specifically to a $2 million request from the Freedom Center.
"I don't think the city is going to be able to give away any money to organizations not directly related to the city," Luken said. "We have to take care of our own streets and our own buildings first."
Sue Feamster, vice president of advancement for the Freedom Center, said she hasn't received any word from the city about its funding request.
"We understand that it is a lean budget year, and we would accept any decision the city has reached," Feamster said. "The city has been a willing and strong supporter of the Freedom Center."
Since 1997, the city has given more than $6 million toward construction and development of the Freedom Center. The federal government has pitched in $23.5 million, the state $7.5 million and the county contributed in-kind services by building the museum's garage and parking lot.
Feamster said Cincinnati was just one of many revenue sources the Freedom Center hoped to tap in an effort to reach its $110 million fund-raising goal. The center has raised $102 million so far.
Freedom Center officials have put in similar requests to the county, state and federal governments.
The state has already placed the Freedom Center on its funding priority list in 2005 or 2006. Feamster said she is confident the museum would receive funding from the state.
Bishop Woods in peril?
Seton High School details expansion plan
Officer graduates, loses job
County settles on stadium
Gay-rights sides target black vote
Bush, Kerry spar on domestic issues
Noonan: Kerry 'worst of party'
Kerry's plan, Bush's past declarations scrutinized
Xavier students gather, let own voices be heard
Transcript of Bush, Kerry debate
Taft: 'No' on same-sex issue
Insults fly in Senate race
Vote monitor optimistic
Lawyers rate candidates
Westwood and Groob square off tonight
Lawyer sues over lost form to vote
Middletown streets on ballot
Election 2004 page
IN THE TRISTATE
EPA, trash firm debate leak from closed landfill
Council rejects police plans
Fire union disputes cost-saving plan
Museum faces cutbacks
Frist: Doctors leaving Ohio
Two teenagers arrested in Royal Crown hotel fire
Witness: Mom not hysterical, though fire trapped her infant
Local news briefs
Mayor of Madeira retires, is moving to Warren County
Man ruled insane in murder of activist
Milford police chief resigns, halting property misuse case
State audit faults Morrow
Killer who blamed his victim is executed at Lucasville prison
Public safety briefs
Northwest Local Schools loses board president
Sierra Club pushes renewable energy
New drivers get look at real-life tragedies
OT for Bush rally covered
'Thirty Ghosts' uneven
Dancers make impact
Bronson: Council deaf to pleas for crime control
Good Things Happening
Alex C. Papas, 84, made candy
Towne Center should proceed with latest OK
River view the draw for condos
Losing weight inspired teacher to help others
State insurance plan outlined
N. Ky. news briefs
Dad, lawyer run from SUV after custody case; mom held
Most N.Ky. schools meeting state goals
House fire victim loses Fla. home, too
Fletcher blamed for flap