The museum run by Yackandandah and District Historical Society is regarded as one of the best in Victoria, but faces the prospect of closing down if it does not get a funding increase from Indigo Council.
A $2500 annual donation from the council to the society has not been increased in more than a decade, promoting a plea for councillors to reconsider the amount before the 2019-20 budget is finalised.
Sales of home-made jams, books and Yackandandah historical information have helped make small profits in previous years, but the society is facing its second deficit in two years, this time of $4000.
In a letter to the council, society president Sue Bell said this was due to a falling number of volunteers, and the museum has been forced to close on some days because of a lack of workers.
She asked for $75,000 in council money to fund a full-time museum manager and part-time support staff, saying Yackandandah deserved the same support as Beechworth's Burke Museum, which is owned and operated by the council.
"The museum is regarded by its peers in the Australian Museums and Galleries Association as one of the best small town museums in Victoria, if not Australia," she said.
"But the society cannot keep the museum doors open without financial support.
"It therefore seeks from the shire significant aid on an annual basis, as the shire does for the Burke Museum, in order to avoid what the society perceives as an imminent financial crisis."
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Ms Bell argued having the museum open daily helped the wider tourist appeal of Yackandandah.
The submission to the council also included letters of support from Yackandandah's golf club, primary school, recreation reserve board and chamber of commerce.
Yackandandah Chamber of Commerce president Mark McKenzie-McHarg backed the funding application, saying the museum's events and activities "enliven the Yackandandah streetscape".
"The museum forms a critical part of the Yackandandah visitor offering, as evidenced by the strong visitation," he said.
"The chamber regards the museum as a key part of our local tourism economy."
The primary school's letter stated that pupils used not only the museum's artifacts, but the expertise of the volunteers as a "valuable resource" to help with their studies.
The historical society, and other community groups and members, have been invited to address councillors at a special meeting on Thursday, held at the council chambers in Beechworth from 6.30pm.
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