York County Heritage Trust survey results to be announced June 3


The time for a final decision on the future of the York County Heritage Trust is nearing.

Earlier this year, the trust unveiled an online survey to solicit feedback from the community about how to overcome a cash shortage.

The historical organization operates 10 buildings, nearly all of which are in need of maintenance that's been deferred, and there won't be enough money to cover payroll at the end of this year unless there are major changes, according to the "Pondering Change" proposal.

In a few weeks, the trust will hold a public meeting to share the results of that survey.

"This is not the big announcement," said Melanie Hady, a trust spokeswoman. "This is more of an update."

The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at York College's Willman Business Center.

Hady said the trust's board of directors has not yet made a final decision about what to do, though that will probably happen before July.

In the meantime, the trust wants to keep the public informed, she said.

"No matter what physical place we land in, we know certain things about what future museumgoers want. We read the trends. We research about what museums are doing across the country," Hady said.

"And so there are things that we know have to happen. There are ways that the museum needs to change."

The survey, which is no longer available, outlined four major options. They are:

Option A, the status quo: Keep all 10 buildings, but reduce expenses or increase revenue. Possible reductions could include cutting employees and reducing operating hours.

Option B: Spending $23.3 million to consolidate into the trust's East Market Street historical society building and sell the Agricultural and Industrial Museum on West Princess Street.

Option C: Still spending $23.3 million, but consolidating into the Agricultural and Industrial Museum and selling the East Market Street building.

Option D: Spending $15 million to $18 million, plus the undetermined cost of a new building (possibly the former Met-Ed Steam Plant along the 100 block of West Philadelphia Street) to create a new York County History campus; selling the Agricultural and Industrial Museum and the East Market Street building.