Battleship New Jersey gets lifeline in new budget
The navy’s most decorated battleship, now serving as the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, got good news in the state budget passed this week: $1 million in state appropriations were earmarked for the attraction.
The museum has been closed since September 7; a combination of limited attendance due to COVID-19 and a lack of state funds had forced the battleship to close. Although a definite target date to reopen had not been given, the museum’s board was aiming for an April restart; that may now be pushed up because of the new operating funds. Although the appropriations don’t become official until Governor Murphy signs the budget, it is anticipated that he will.
Battleship Museum and Memorial board chairman Marshall Spevak told the Courier-Post, “I am confident the funding the Legislature included for the battleship will be approved by the governor.” Overnight stays, along with group tours and large events provide much of the museum’s revenue and all those things were curtailed because of the coronavirus restrictions. The museum costs about $5 million a year to operate.
According to the museum’s website, under normal conditions, the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial provides an “up-close look at our nation’s military history. Guests of all ages and interests will enjoy their visit to this floating U.S. Navy museum of our nation’s largest battle ships ever built. From World War II to Korea, Vietnam and active duty during the 1980s, this is among the can’t-miss U.S. Navy museum ships open to the public today. A wealth of history along with engaging activities aboard our battleship museum awaits!” In addition to the state funding, the museum relies on donations to operate; you can donate here.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.