Bristol won’t hold money for new historical society

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

The Bristol Village Board failed to take action Monday on one trustee’s request that the village create a temporary account to hold funds for the newly forming Bristol Historical Society.

Trustee John McCabe, who is leading the drive to create the historical society as a way to restore the old town hall building, asked for the account as a way to hold funds already donated to the fledgling group.

“People have come up and given us donations,” McCabe said.

At first, it looked like McCabe might get his request granted. Trustee Colleen Fisch made a motion to create the account and McCabe seconded it.

But then Trustee Ruth Atwood expressed opposition to the move, citing the board’s stated position that no village funds would be used to support the society and its work.

“Why haven’t you gone through a bank?” Atwood asked McCabe. “That’s what our banks are for. This gives me an uncomfortable feeling.”

When he tried to get a bank account for the organization, McCabe said, he was told he needed a taxpayer identification number, which the group does not have and might not be able to get for 18 months because it is seeking tax-exempt nonprofit status.

Village President Mike Farrell said he initially supported McCabe’s request, but he was swayed by Atwood’s arguments.

“Now I am sensing that there’s more problems …” Farrell said. “It was made very clear that the village would not be involved in any way.”

Eventually Fisch withdrew her motion and the board moved on to other agenda items.

“I was just looking for some help,” McCabe said.

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