The historic Clark Chateau is in the black and on course to open its doors more often to the public.
Now, efforts are being made to find matching funds to keep the structure viable.
Ellen Crain, Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives director and head of the committee that maintained the Chateau the past year, said she is banking on the county’s Redevelopment Trust Fund to match one-third of the $41,421 state tourism grant it won earlier this week.
“We get $2 for every $1 in matching funds and we do have a match for that,” she assured county commissioners at their regular meeting Wednesday.
She presented an overall summary of achievements at the chateau, including a healthy schedule of popular events from the past year, when she and her staff took over the reins from the Butte-Silver Bow Arts Foundation.
The mansion, 321 W. Broadway St., made across-the-board improvements in 2013 after the county transferred $35,000 into the committee budget, plus Crain assured commissioners that it’s working in the black.
“In 30 years, we’ve never been in better shape than we have with the archives and staff,” said Commissioner Brendan McDonough. “It’s maintained and cared for and it’s a great place to have fundraisers for other nonprofits.”
With the expertise of Pat Holland, the county’s government buildings manager, the committee has already done some restoration: it refinished the oak floors in two rooms, upgraded the alarm system, installed new fire extinguishers, cleared fire exit steps and discarded unneeded materials.
“It’s an expensive building to maintain,” Holland said. “We work on proactive maintenance, not reactive maintenance.”
Crain added: “Everything has gone beautifully this year. There were no broken pipes, for instance. We feel we did a really good job of reaching our costs.”
The committee came in under its $46,000 budget, which covered support services and contracted services, including $9,000 for a building assessment.
Chairwoman Cindi Shaw is pleased with the financial management .
“That was (money) well spent in the community,” said Shaw, whose commission district includes the chateau.
Mitzi Rossillon, chateau interim project manager, was paid $18,000 for her work, and Archives technician Kim Kohn received about $7,000 during the year from the committee budget. The rest of the county money was used to fund projects, said Crain.
“It’s really Kim and Mitzi who carried the ball here. We’re very proud of them,’’ Crain said.
The tourism grant from the Montana Department of Commerce will help the archives continue management and make infrastructure upgrades to wiring, plumbing and heating.