Is it right to spend tax dollars on Tallman House?
Every time Tallman House restorations hit the news, critics howl.
They wonder why we’re investing so many tax dollars in a building that gets only modest tourism traffic at a time when the city is raising fees and plans to enact a wheel tax to balance its budget.
As we reported last Saturday, work on the roof, frieze, soffits, gutters, cupola and chimneys started in June and will cost about $750,000. City dollars are funding all but $81,000, the amount contributed by the Rock County Historical Society, which operates the mansion as a museum.
This won’t complete the needs. Costs of other restorations on the landmark home and other projects at the complex, including upgrading the carriage house, could hit $1.3 million more.
Why are restorations so expensive? Why must the city maintain the mansion? Why shouldn’t we expect the historical society to pick up more of the costs?
We’ll explore these concerns and provide perspective in our editorial Saturday.