OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Positions will be eliminated, Oklahoma History Center hours will be trimmed and funding for some museums — including three in northwest Oklahoma — will be withdrawn or reduced to offset a cut to the Oklahoma Historical Society’s fiscal 2010 budget.

The society’s board of directors unanimously approved a plan that calls for eliminating several full- and part-time positions and reducing contract employee positions, such as maintenance and security.

It also recommends halting operations funding for Healdton Oil Museum in Healdton and Peter Conser Home in Heavener and reducing funding for nine other sites.

Three of the sites to receive less money are T.B. Ferguson Home in Watonga, home of Oklahoma’s sixth territorial governor; Fort Supply historic site in Fort Supply; and Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher. Funding for Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid was not cut.

The museums are expected to remain open, but will need to make adjustments, historical society executive director Bob Blackburn said after the board approved the plan Wednes-day.

“At this point, if we get another funding cut this year, what I’m saying right now I may have to back up on,” Blackburn said. “Based on what we know now, we won’t have to close any museums.”

Blackburn encouraged communities to support local museums, noting more than $9 million was raised in Enid to expand the original Museum of the Cherokee Strip to the 6,000-square-foot Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center.

The historical society received a $14 million appropriation from the state Legislature for the 2009 fiscal year, Blackburn said. With funding from other sources, such as grants, the agency had a budget of about $20 million, he said.

Oklahoma legislators hammered out a $7.2 billion budget for 2010, but declining tax revenue has forced many state agencies, including the historical society, to absorb a 7 percent funding cut.

Blackburn said the society tried to balance reductions among agency divisions, but acknowledged some museums still will face a hardship.

“I know some museums think all the money goes to Oklahoma City or Tulsa — anywhere but their communities. But we’ve done our best to make the cuts proportionate,” Blackburn said.

Linda Frick, manager of the Jim Thorpe Home, said historical society funding pays for utilities, the alarm system and phone service at the two-bedroom bungalow the Olympian and his wife, Iva, purchased in 1917. Frick said those costs run about $500 a month.

“As long as they cut our funding some, we will continue to stay open. If they completely cut us off, that will probably make the home close,” Frick said Thursday.

The home receives funds from Jim Thorpe Memorial Foundation and visitor donations, but admission is free. Frick volunteers her time.

Other sites absorbing cuts were: Tom Mix Museum in Dewey; No Man’s Land Museum in Goodwell; Pio-neer town site in Frederick; Drummond Home in Hom-iny; and Overholser Home in Oklahoma City.

Blackburn said the Okla-homa History Center, a 215,000-square-foot facility in Oklahoma City, will open an hour later Monday through Saturdays and close on Sun-day.

Museums may have to consider similar moves, al-though Frick said the Jim Thorpe Home already slashed hours from six to four days a week some time ago.

Blackburn said the agency is putting together a long-term strategy to combat expected budget cuts in coming years.

“We’re going to maintain our presence in communities,” he said. “But we’ve got to work together.”

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