Coral Gables

Coral Gables

Coral Gables approves $100,000 grant to city museum

Chip Withers, former Coral Gables city commissioner, speaks in support of a $100,000 grant to the Coral Gables Museum. Withers, who sits on the museum’s board, helped conceive the idea of the museum in the 1990s.
Chip Withers, former Coral Gables city commissioner, speaks in support of a $100,000 grant to the Coral Gables Museum. Withers, who sits on the museum’s board, helped conceive the idea of the museum in the 1990s.
Joey Flechas / Miami Herald Staff

The Coral Gables Museum will receive a $100,000 grant from the city to help fund programs.

The Coral Gables City Commission unanimously approved the grant Tuesday morning, after former commissioner Chip Withers spoke on behalf of the two-and-a-half-year-old museum.

“In two years, we’ve created an institution,” said Withers, who sits on the museum’s board.

He said the museum needs the grant to continue offering free events like family day and movie nights.

“We’re not at the point financially with our endowment and our corporate sponsorships to provide the community events like we’d like to provide,” he said.

Mayor Jim Cason said the museum is important because it attracts people downtown.

“It really has moved beyond just a museum,” he said. “It’s one of the key cultural centers.”

The museum had been in development since the mid 1990s before opening in 2011 in the restored historic police and fire station at 285 Aragon Ave. Since it’s opening, more than 40,000 people have attended.

Also on Tuesday, the commission:

• Gave final approval to an ordinance that pressures banks to maintain foreclosed homes in Coral Gables.

• Approved plans to expand the historic Temple Judea, 5500 Grenada Blvd.

• Held a closed-door meeting with City Attorney Craig Leen to discuss litigation over Florida Power & Light’s proposed power lines along U.S. 1. Ordinarily, state law requires the commission to meet in public, but the law allows for an exception to allow commissioners to discuss a specific court case with their lawyer.

Follow @joeflech on Twitter.

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