Tryon Palace Loses $1.5 Million In State Funding, Considers New Fees

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

With the passing of the state budget the Tryon Palace in New Bern is facing a 1.5-million-dollar cut to its funding starting July 1st.

The historical Tryon Palace was the first permanent capitol for our state. It is funded publicly and privately, but the state appropriations pays for two-thirds of its budget including 70 of the 75 full-time employees at the palace, insurance, utilities and telephone service.

The director of the Tryon Palace says visitors probably won't notice any big changes July 1st when the new budget kicks in, but they are considering charging new fees for special events.

"We're having to do an analysis of the free experience,s and I think people may see some charge. We would always try to keep it small for events they have enjoyed like garden weekends the concert series that we've done with the North Carolina Symphony is always popular. I think there's just some reality things that we have got to think about," said Tryon Palace Director Kay Williams.

Williams says they have to focus on this year's budget cuts for now, but they face an even bigger $2.6 million cut next year.


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  • by D Nieman Location: New Bern on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:22 AM
    I've been to Tron a number of thimes and enjoyed it. The first thing that jumped out at me was "70-75 full-time employees" - give me a break! Thats easily 2 - 3 times the number required. Gotta love a government funded attraction! Contract it out to private sector and watch the head count go down and the maintenance improve! 70-75 people - UNBELIEVABLE!
  • by cool hand Location: jacksonville on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:56 AM
    Keep the palace but loose the north carolina history museum---there is nothing in a big place and a $20000 light bill each month.
  • by Fact Bringer Location: Greenville on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:27 AM
    The spokesperson in the article didn't seem too troubled about the cuts, and cuts need to come from somewhere. This place struck me a bit as a mcmansion in the first place- the demographic that visits can afford higher fees if it's that important, from what I've observed there.
    • reply
      by cool hand on Jun 17, 2011 at 01:26 AM in reply to Fact Bringer
      do you realize they are already the highest rates in the entire state than any other museum and they cut the days on the passes from 2 days to one day. Tryon Palace head people have run it in the ground with ridiculous spending. All the money Pepsi put into the new history center should have been donated towards the Palace side itself.
  • by Wasted On A Non-Original on Jun 16, 2011 at 11:15 PM
    That place isn't the original palace anyway. They rebuilt it after it burned down...but even more shameful is, the place has be renovated since the new palace was built. It's more like a new house than the old building that was once there. And to put the parking area right next to Trent Court? It doesn't take a 5th grader to see the problem there.
  • by TJ on Jun 16, 2011 at 09:30 PM
    I went there on a field trip as a kid. BORING. Sorry, but it's true. The only time it's worth looking at is when the gardens are in full bloom.
  • by Steve Location: Ayden on Jun 16, 2011 at 08:29 PM
    I have been a few times. First, it is NOT the real house. It is a replica. Second, everytime I went their were less than 10 people on the entire grounds. Some of them were probably employees I could not recognize. Third, it is so important for New Bern and Craven County then let them make up the difference in operating budget. These are the things we have to lessen funding. Good job Republicans!!! You really get it!!!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:51 PM
    The problem is not the "evil Republicans", the problem is the state government leadership that allows an (essentially static) minor historical site to have 75 full-time employees. (The Washington Monument has 139 full-timers -- which has more traffic?) I'm sure if you dig, you'll also find a load of contractors and others who actually do the physical maintenance work. This is a something I've seen over-and-over-and-over in NC state jobs (I work on a state telephony contract and have been to a lot of sites like this.) Investigate some of this waste WITN... The numbers are public, yet no one looks at them. I'm sure you have a summer intern or two who wants to cut their teeth on investigative journalism. (The waste will flat-out stun you.!)
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2011 at 06:50 AM in reply to
      The problem IS evil, selfish Republicans who place their own (and their rich benefactors') greed and avarice over the "general Welfare," violating the Constitution of the United States. That phrase ("general Welfare") is from the Preamble to the Constitution, which reads (in part), "...promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,...". "Ourselves," of course, means every citizen, even Democrats and poor people.
      • reply
        by Puh-Leez on Jun 17, 2011 at 03:35 PM in reply to
        Evil Selfish Republicans??? Just who was in charge of both state houses in the NC Legislature for the past hundred years or so? The state is broke, whatever has to be cut is fine with me. Some folks must believe in "sunshine and lollipops" no matter the debt level! Sheeeesh!
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 18, 2011 at 02:18 PM in reply to Puh-Leez
          Yes. Why kill the 1 cent on a dollar sales tax? Nobody will miss the penny or find it if it comes back. Yet spreading that 1 cent per dollar over the schools will save education. Military men and women put their very lives on the line for the US and often loose them (all too often in unnecessary wars, such as Iraq). Yet so many Republicans won't even put one penny on the line for the US. Shame on the evil, selfish Republicans.
  • by mike Location: witn area on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:48 PM
    So we have Del insulting the majority of the state's citizens who voted for urgent change, and botching all four sentences in his or her post with untruths. Tryon Palace is a prime example of where spending cuts can and must be made.
  • by LuBba Location: What? on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:44 PM
    These so called politicans are gonna put 17 million into the transpark, keep a wasteful 25 million pier open, and everyone is freakin out about 1,5 million. North carolina has plenty of money, we just keep electing Democrats and repub's that love to waste it.
    • reply
      by Puh-Leez on Jun 17, 2011 at 03:37 PM in reply to LuBba
      NC has "plenty of money"??? Really??
  • by Anonymous on Jun 16, 2011 at 07:10 PM
    Should open it up to rental on sundays for weddings and such
    • reply
      by A Great Idea on Jun 16, 2011 at 11:10 PM in reply to
      Time Share! Sunday services....etc.
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