Historical Society balances budget

The Warren County Historical Society is operating on a balanced budget.

While that might not be surprising, it hasn’t always been that way.

During the society’s annual meeting Tuesday night, Treasurer Wallace Blyth said, “I can remember when I first came on the board of directors, we were operating on a deficit.” That deficit, at times, meant that the society was spending one and a half times more that revenues generated, he said.

“(We) brought spending down without cutting services,” he explained. “We had to make some hard decisions. (Executive Director) Shelly (Gray) gave us leadership in doing that.”

How did it look?

“We started doing creative things we hadn’t done before to bring revenues up,” he said.

That meant fundraising and Blyth cited the upcoming list of events the society is facilitating that “show some of the other things we are trying to do to raise some money.”

But as for all non-profit organizations, that’s a struggle.

“In this day and age, it’s difficult to bring in additional revenues,” Blyth said. “We can’t look to traditional sources anymore. The well has gone dry. (We’re) trying to be creative and think of new ways.”

While the projected budget surplus for 2013 is estimated at just $318, down from $7,372 and $3,400 in the last two years, respectively one has to look no further than 2010 to see how the society has come a long way financially.

That year, it ran at a $19,427 deficit.

“Even though the expenses have gone way down,” Blyth said, “we are still able to provide what I still think is a (high quality) of services.”