Voters soundly defeat museum district

4Museum8-21Voters in North Big Horn County on Tuesday rejected the formation of a museum district that would have supported the proposed North Big Horn County Museum and Historical Center, voting 577 in favor and 884 against the district in the primary election.

The vote was closest in Deaver, where voters opposed the district 29-20. The district was rejected in Lovell 514-399, in Byron 123-59, in Cowley 183-89 and in Frannie 34-10.

Supporters of the museum were disappointed Tuesday night.

“I don’t know where we’re going from here,” said museum board president Karen Spragg. “I had high hopes. It’s too bad. Almost every other town in this state has a museum.”

Spragg said the board will meet to decide what to do next, noting that the district would have supported operation of the museum and provide a mechanism to receive grants for the construction of the facility. The failure of the district Tuesday makes moving forward problematic, she said.

“We can’t do it with fundraisers every year,” Spragg noted.

Supporters were puzzled that the district even failed in Lovell.

“That was the hard part, that Lovell didn’t support it,” Spragg said.

By David Peck