SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The Military Heritage Museum and Education Center is having financial difficulties and owes more than $334,000 to a bank.
Court records indicate the museum currently owes Bank First National a principal sum of $316,728 in unpaid mortgage since April 2, plus more than $17,300 in interest and other fees, according to Sheboygan Press Media.
The museum had its grand opening in August of last year. Bank First National’s attorney filed the motion for foreclosure in June. After the filing, museum officials failed to appear in court or file a response.
The museum’s executive director, Larry Hinkelman, told The Associated Press Saturday they had “some personnel setbacks” and someone was “supposed to be raising money and it just wasn’t happening.” They’ve chosen to pay other bills during the cash strapped time, he said.
They are looking for a new developmental director to help fundraise and they have a plan in place to raise the money, or they will take out another mortgage, he said. He’s confident they will be able to stay afloat.
“We are very proud of the museum,” he said.
Another hearing is scheduled for Monday in Sheboygan County Circuit Court.
The museum, which is operated by the Wisconsin Naval Ship Association, has six months after Monday’s hearing to pay what’s due. After that, the building and its items will go to public auction.
If the judge issues a judgment in the bank’s favor, the bank will be entitled to take possession of “all equipment, fixtures, inventory and documents.” It is unclear whether that includes the museum’s exhibits, many of which are military items and memorabilia donated by local families and other individuals.
The museum’s website advertises an upcoming golf fundraiser Aug. 16 as well as a Veterans’ Fishing Day and Brat Fry on Aug. 23.
Information from: Sheboygan Press Media, http://www.sheboygan-press.com