Kittitas County Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
County, Historical Museum, and Family Agree on Permanent Home for Rollinger Rock Collection
Kittitas County, WA - 05/07/2012 - The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners took official action Friday afternoon approving a contract transferring permanent ownership of the Rollinger Rock Collection to the Kittitas County Historical Society. The agreement was negotiated over several months between the County, the Historical Society, and representatives of the Rollinger family. The Rollinger Rock Collection was originally donated to the County by Martin, John, and Tom Rollinger in 1974 and includes over 2000 specimens of petrified wood and other rocks and minerals from the local area and around the world.
The various parties have been in discussions about the future of the rock collection since late 2011. Amid concerns about continued falling revenues and a need to reduce costs, the County ended its contract with the Historical Society to house the collection at the Kittitas County Historical Museum at the end of last year. The County was paying the Historical Society $3,600 per year to display and store the collection.
The original contract between the County and the Rollinger Family gifted the entire collection to the County with strong conditions. The County could never sell the collection or any portion, it was required to provide best efforts to appropriately display the collection, and it had to keep the collection intact. The County was allowed to lend the collection to historical societies and museums within Kittitas County, which led to the long-standing contract with the Historical Society. The new contract replaces the County's agreement with the Rollinger family, relieves Kittitas County of all obligations and transfers full rights of ownership to the Kittitas County Historical Society with much more flexibility.
"I am very pleased we were able to accomplish this agreement," remarked Commissioner Paul Jewell during the signing on Friday. "It really represents a win-win-win arrangement for all three parties and is truly in the long-term best interest of the collection, the County, the Rollinger Family, and the Historical Society." The terms of the new contract include the ability for the Historical Society to sell parts of the collection if necessary, or to otherwise remove non-essential or excess items rather than store them. Additionally, the Historical Society will have full control over what and how the collection is displayed. In return, the family will receive a few items from the collection back including some beadwork and a display of framed arrowheads. The family will also be notified if any items are offered for sale or the Historical Society plans to dispose of some of the items.
Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
Contact (media only): Paul Jewell, Kittitas County Commissioner