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Thursday, May 2, 2013

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Wis. committee nixes state control of Circus World


FILE - In this July 12, 2007 file photo, Steve Freese talks about some of the history at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wis. The Legislature's finance committee on Tuesday rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to let the state Historical Society take over day-to-day operations at Baraboo's struggling Circus World Museum, saying the site will have to stand on its own. Photo: Morry Gash
from:  sfgate.com
By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press
April 30, 2013
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Legislature's finance committee on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to let the state Historical Society take over Baraboo's struggling Circus World Museum, saying the site will have to find other ways to survive.

The Republican-controlled committee's co-chairs, Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said the state faces larger problems and lawmakers must be prudent about spending tax dollars.

"Circus World will have to make it on its own," Nygren told reporters.
 
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FILE - In this July 12, 2007 file photo, some old circus wagons are lined up at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wis. The Legislature's finance committee on Tuesday rejected Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to let the state Historical Society take over day-to-day operations at Baraboo's struggling Circus World Museum, saying the site will have to stand on its own. Photo: Morry Gash
The museum stands on what was once the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus's winter grounds in Baraboo, a city of 12,000 about 50 miles northwest of Madison. The museum includes original buildings from the winter camp, an extensive collection of circus artifacts, including more than 200 circus wagons, posters and ads as well as a hippodrome performance center.

The Historical Society owns the museum but a private foundation has run it for 53 years through a lease and management contract. The museum's revenue has been dwindling over the last decade due largely to declining attendance. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, an estimated 71,076 people visited the site last year, down more than 50 percent from 143,300 in 2000. The museum's 2013 budget assumes expenses will outpace revenues by $975,000.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Wis-committee-nixes-state-control-of-Circus-World-4476193.php#ixzz2S2FwyTF6

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