Governor proposes adding $600K to Tryon Palace budget

POSTED: 7:32 PM Mar 27 2013   UPDATED: 1:42 AM Mar 28 2013
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

Tryon Palace officials hope to see more than $600,000 added to their budget in the next year.

Governor Pat McCrory's proposed spending plan would provide $634,066 to "restore critical operating support" for the historic building in New Bern. Tryon Palace officials said the money is much-needed, considering that more than 30 positions have been cut from the palace in the last 18 months.

Last year Tryon Palace received $500,000 from the state government. But Palace leaders were told it was a one-time appropriation.

Craig Ramey, the marketing and communications manager at Tryon Palace, said he is happy to hear that the news could change.  

“It lets us know that in Raleigh, across the state, they still see the value of Tryon Palace and want to preserve that, and we're very happy to hear that," said Ramey.

He said the proposed $634,066 would be used for maintenance around the palace.

Curt Milton, from Maryland, said when he and his wife decided to travel around North Carolina, Tryon Palace was on the top of their list of destinations.

"I appreciate the recreation of history here in North Carolina in one place, and it's certainly a treasure here for the people to enjoy," said Milton.

Local business owners said they are also happy to hear about the proposed funding. Tom Ballance, the owner of Captain Ratty's Seafood Restaurant on Middle Street,  said his business has been in New Bern for 14 years, and it's places like the Tryon Palace that keeps his restaurant thriving.

"Starting in April, when the tourist season picks up, you can tell, and I’d hate to think what tourist season would be like without [the Tryon Palace]," said Ballance.

The proposed funding for Tryon Palace is listed as the number one priority on the governor’s plan for the Department of Cultural Resources.