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Budget woes force Chapel Hill Museum to shut its doors

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TWC News: Budget woes force Chapel Hill Museum to shut its doors
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CHAPEL HILL -- The Chapel Hill Museum is closing its doors Sunday. Museum representatives asked town council members for about $49,000 for the upkeep and utilities for the museum but members appropriated less than half of their request.

The museum on East Franklin Street opened in 1996 and is set to close its doors for good at 4 p.m. Sunday. It houses articles that represent and preserve the Orange County town's history. That includes everything from the evolution of downtown to the desegregation of the town's schools.

Town council members appropriated just over $20,000 for the museum in the adopted 2011 fiscal budget, and that was no where near enough for the operation of the museum.

Like other museums across the United States, the Chapel Hill Museum has been adversely affected by the recession and operators said it was difficult to keep up with the soaring costs of maintaining the town's building.

Operators say they are saddened by having to make this decision. All of the donated art pieces are expected to be returned to their owners.

About 15,000 people visited the museum annually.

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