Battleship New Jersey Struggling After Getting Dropped From State Budget
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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) - As the Battleship New Jersey tries to keep its head above water financially, officials at the floating museum are asking Governor Christie to restore funding.
Berthed on the Camden waterfront, the most decorated battleship in US naval history took one across the bow in the most recent state budget.
“We got $32,500 from the New Jersey Historical Commission — that is it,” notes museum president and CEO Jim Schuck. “That barely covers the electric bill.”
Schuck (right) says that just four years ago it got $3.4 million in state funding.
And he says that every year on the ship — which is nearly three football fields long and 11 stories high — there are fixed costs including maintenance, utilities, and insurance.
“So before we even open the doors, that’s $2.3 million right off the top,” Schuck laments.
The museum is moving full speed ahead on an e-mail and letter-writing campaign to Governor Chris Christie, urging him to restore funding.
“We’re going through tough times as a country,” Schuck says. “I’m not sure who said it, but in order to look to your future, sometimes you have to look back. That’s what this ship does, every day.”
The New Jersey, which was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and launched in 1942, opened as a museum in 2001.
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060