Tommy Gregors (Flint RiverQuarium Operations Director)
Some Albany community leaders who support the Flint RiverQuarium are asking business leaders to donate money to support the attraction to make sure it stays open. The RiverQuarium is in danger of losing support from local governments which has made up a large part of its budget, and Flint RiverQuarium supporters want to make sure the fish keep swimming in the downtown attraction.
RiverQuarium leaders say it's not in danger of shutting down right away, but it's long-term future could be in jeopardy. In the past the city council has helped fund the Flint River Aquarium, but come 2014 that's not going to be the case because of budget constraints.
In November, the city gave the Flint RiverQuarium $150,000, but commissioners did not promise future funding and urged the RiverQuarium to cut expenses and do more to raise money from private sources.
"It certainly creates a challenge and we have to find ways to fill in that gap in the funding and to make the aquarium more sustainable over the long period," Said Tommy Gregors, Flint RiverQuarium Operations Director.
The RiverQuarium partnered with the Thronateeska Heritage Foundation, combining departments, staff, and promoting both organizations all in an effort to conserve money, but the RiverQuarium still needs your support.
"All our attractions in our community depend on public support. The dollars we bring in do not cover the cost of operating the facility alone. We have to do fundraising, apply for grants, and look for other opportunities to bring those funds in to help sustain the organization," Said Gregors.
One local Albany resident wants to see the Aquarium stay alive and knows the impact the Aquarium has on the city.
"That would be pretty bad because I know kids enjoy to go out there, go on field trips. I know, I got a little brother that does that stuff too, but that would be very horrible to Albany and Leesburg," Said Jonathan Gibson, Albany resident.
RiverQuarium leaders hope more people will attend the attraction and donate to make sure it stays open. If you would like to make a donation you can do so by calling 229-639-2650, or by mailing a check to 17 Pine Avenue. Albany GA 31701.