Hanford

Hanford makes moves to repair, sell Carnegie Museum for reopening

Hanford’s City Council is setting into motion a plan that it hopes will eventually lead to the reopening of the city’s local museum. 

Nonprofit organization Carnegie Museum of Kings County (CMKC) is seeking to move into the historic Carnegie Library building and eventually open up and operate a museum. 

The 116-year-old building was vacated last year after the Hanford Carnegie Museum could not keep up with its lease payments to the city. 

With the Hanford Carnegie Museum and its artifacts out of the building – leaving the city without a museum to preserve and showcase its history – CMKC formed last year with the intent of operating in the historic library building. 

Those efforts will come to a head with the City Council with votes Tuesday to:

  • Approve a license agreement with CMKC for the building
  • Declare the library building (109 E. Eighth St.) to be surplus property

The license agreement would allow CMKC to move onto the property while both parties evaluate the structural issues of the library building and eventually negotiate an agreement for the sale. 

Per the terms of the agreement, CMKC will occupy the property from June 15 to the end of the year and will pay the city only $10 to do so. 

The city will be responsible for Fire Code issues with the building and will replace the electrical panel.

The city will also spend up to $5,000 to maintain the electrical, air conditioning and plumbing systems in the building as well as the property’s landscaping. 

CMKC will be responsible for day-to-day maintenance and will be allowed to paint the interior walls and ceilings of the building. The nonprofit will also be allowed to hold meetings, fund-raising opportunities, operate a gift store and hold event rentals. 

While CMKC starts working to get a museum up and running in the building, the city declaring the building to be surplus land opens the door for both sides to negotiate a sale. 

Hanford will be able to sell the building to CMKC after a 60-day notice period for housing, park, open space and school entities in the area that gives them the opportunity to purchase or lease the property, as required by state law. 

The resolution also directs City Manager Mario Cifuentez to negotiate terms of sale with CMKC if none of the notified entities are interested in the property.

Cifuentez will submit the terms to the City Council at a later date for approval.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.