HOUSTON - Residents are concerned that a unique museum in League City is on the verge of getting shut down by elected officials.
The Butler Longhorn Museum on Coryell St. is described as a hidden gem by those who know where to find it.
"I just love it all. I just love it all the different things from way back in the past," says Pamela Adams who visits the museum often.
Her friend Suzanne Grijalva chimed in saying, "this is amazing! I really thank these guys are bringing us out."
The museum tells the story of the founding family, the Butlers, and their preservation of the Texas longhorn.
"They began a program they're well known for that saved the longhorns and allow them to be present today," says Annette Conwell, President of the Butler Longhorn Museum.
The Butler Longhorn also houses League City history, which some say is at stake.
It operates in a city building on city property and once supported itself on donations and weddings. However, after noise complaints, the city barred it from hosting most of its outdoor events. It then offered funding to make up for the restrictions to revenue.
In 2017, damage from Hurricane Harvey closed the doors for almost a year and a half. Once reopened, the pandemic closed them again a year later.
Meanwhile, some council members have gone on record complaining about low attendance.
In 2020, the League City council agreed to honor its three-year arrangement and contribute $72,000 to keep the museum running, but that agreement ends in September, and its renewal could go up for a vote in August.
"The city had made it clear to us in December if we didn’t get our numbers back up to where they need to be, we would not be getting our contract renewed," says Conwell. "In fact, they would take over the museum."
Many fear the city wants to bulldoze the building and repurpose the land into something more lucrative, but the museum’s board says it only needs time and fewer restrictions to become self-sustainable again.
"A one-year agreement is not a workable agreement if you want a museum to keep going," adds Conwell. "You can’t keep dangling a carrot."
She encourages supporters of the museum to reach out to the council to let them know they value it and want it to stay.
"We just want to get back to running a museum the way a museum should run and move forward," she concluded.