Port Columbus rallies to show strong support for museum - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Port Columbus rallies to show strong support for museum

By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus is planning a rally Saturday to show just how important the facility is to locals and people across the nation. 
The Executive Director, Bruce Smith, is hoping Columbus city leaders will pay close attention.

More importantly, the objective is to reverse a line item in the city's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012. 

The museum stands to lose 70% of the $300,000 it receives for salaries from the city. "It would cut four of the six staff members –the ones who generate revenue therefore resulting in final closure within 6 months to a year," said Smith.

Smith expects a thousand supporters from Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina to file into the USS Witch Water, a Civil War replica. "They will be holding signs and waving at passersby on Victory Drive," explained Smith. 

Civil War sailors, marines and pirates from Southern Pirate Illustration will camp out overnight Friday dressed in garb.

According to Smith, a host of emails from supporters as far as San Diego and England have also circulated to city leaders emphasizing the value of Port Columbus. "Tourists who visit this facility every year spend $2.8 million while they are here," reflected Smith.

Smith and his supporters are hoping their message will resonate with the mayor and council.  The two-hour event is free. It starts at 10:00 a.m. 

A drawing will also be held; the winner will shoot a real cannon.

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