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Published: Saturday, 7/25/2009

Hayes Center cuts hours, increases admission fee

FREMONT A 45 percent cut in state funding means the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center will reduce hours, staff, and pay as well as hike admission.

The center will close Mondays, starting in September. It has been open every day, except major holidays, since 1916, executive director Thomas Culbertson said.

Staff will be reduced, and those left will work a four-day week and take a 10 percent pay cut. Admission charges will go up by about 25 percent. The center will make other cuts, even by adjusting the thermostat, Mr. Culbertson said.

The center last year expected to get $504,000 from the state about one-third of its budget although that was adjusted downward by about $50,000. The recently enacted state budget allocates $281,043 to the Hayes Center.

It s kind of sad to see it, Mr. Culbertson said. We ll try to have a fund-raising push and get the word out that we ve taken a significant beating and [ask] people to open up their pocketbooks.

The center, on the estate of the 19th president, is state-owned. Its annual appropriation comes through the Ohio Historical Society, but it is managed by the nonprofit Hayes Presidential Center Inc.

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