Museum to seek partnership for research center

MARSHALL – The Lyon County Historical Museum is continuing to settle in to its new home in the former Marshall library building, but there are still some resources museum supporters would like to be able to offer to the community, museum director Jennifer Andries said. Working together with an area genealogical group could be beneficial for everyone, Andries told members of the Lyon County Board Tuesday.

In an update to the county board, Andries said the Lyon County Museum has made a lot of progress on renovating the basement level of the museum and getting the museum’s 1950s ice cream counter functional. The museum has an open house and several events planned for May, which is Minnesota Museums Month.

However, Andries said there were still resources that the Lyon County Historical Society would like to be able to offer visitors.

“Most county historical societies have an archive,” where members of the public can do genealogical or family research, she said. While the new museum has space for a research center, Andries said the county Historical Society doesn’t want to duplicate resources already in Marshall, like the Prairieland Genealogical Society.

“They have a wealth of information that would take us years to build up,” like archived obituaries and cemetery indexes, Andries said.

The Lyon County Historical Society would like to approach Prairieland and offer research and storage space inside the library building, Andries said. The two organizations would stay separate, but they could benefit from being near each other, she said. The genealogical society is currently based out of the History Center at Southwest Minnesota State University, which has limited hours and visibility.

Commissioners voted to authorize the Historical Society Board to work with Prairieland to possibly establish a shared-space agreement.

Later at Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners weighed in on a possible expansion of the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction over the country’s waters.

In November, the Lincoln County Board voted to sign a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency voicing concerns over a study on the interconnectedness of streams and bodies of water in the U.S. The Lincoln County commissioners worried the study would be used to expand the Clean Water Act to put locally-regulated wetlands, streams and ditches under federal control. On April 21, the EPA and Army Corps published a proposed rule based on this study and opened it to public comment.

Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said Lyon County commissioners had a couple of options before them to comment on the proposed rule. The Association of Minnesota Counties asked member counties for comments to submit on the proposal. The law firm of Rinke Noonan was also asking for Minnesota drainage authorities to contribute to a joint comment submission. The Rinke Noonan proposal came with the suggestion of a $500 contribution toward the joint submission.

Commissioners discussed contributing to one, or both, of the comment submissions.

“We need to say something,” said commissioner Charlie Sanow. However, Sanow said he didn’t think the county should pay $500 to say it.

Commissioners opted to approve a resolution in support of the AMC submitting comments on the proposed rule.