Thursday, July 18, 2024

Maine Irish Heritage Center Gets $3M for Renovations From Omnibus Bacchanal

Among the over $16 billion worth of earmarks included in the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill passed late last year, was $3 million for the Maine Irish Heritage Center.

Allocated by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the funds will pay to refurbish the organization’s building, constructed in the 1890s. Formerly St. Dominic’s Church, the building has withstood “more than 120 years worth of salty, sea-driven winter storms off Casco Bay,” corroding slate roof tiles and iron pins, according to an article from the Bangor Daily News.

The federal funds will pay for replacing the existing slate shingle pins with new stainless-steel pins, to better hold up ceiling shingles, as well as “repointing every mile of mortar holding the building’s impressive brick edifice together.”

Any money left over after these improvements will go toward restoring stained glass windows and plaster details, and constructing more display space for artifact collections.

In addition to $3 million for the Irish Heritage Center, Collins, along with Sen. Angus King, secured a total of $299 million in earmarks for projects in Maine. Other earmarks for Maine include $4.4 million for a “Pond and Park reclamation project,” $1.5 million for restoration of the Augusta Colonial Theater, and $1.5 million each for the Bangor and the Old Town Orono YMCAs.

While the Maine Irish Heritage Center may be in need of repair, there are a variety of funding streams that could have been used instead of federal money. In fact, the Center has already financed projects with individual donations, grants from local governments, and even financial assistance from the Irish government, according to the Bangor Daily News.

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This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.