Former Gov. Wilder presents new plan for National Slavery Museum

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jun 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-27 18:56:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Former Governor Doug Wilder was back in federal court Wednesday with a new plan to revive the National Slavery Museum, a stalled project

The new plan submitted to the court would create ways to pay back part of the project’s $7 million dollars in debt and emerge from bankruptcy six years after the facility was projected to be complete. 

The plan would call for Wilder's group to sell off at least 20 of 38 acres of land that was donated to the museum.

The plan is to use the money from the property sale to pay back some of the existing debt and then use the remaining land to build the facility as intended. The plan also relies on heavy fundraising in the first year the facility is open.

It projects it could pull in close to $1 million dollars in its first year open. The development firm that donated the land, Celebration Virginia Inc., is objecting to the plan and claimed that the six-year delay in completing the project has financially injured the surrounding development that was relying on it.

The firm also urged a judge to convert the case to Chapter 7 liquidation. Judge Tice will rule on the acceptance of the new plan on August 8, as well as the possibility of liquidation. 

Wilder had no comment as he left court Wednesday but his attorney, Sandra Robinson, claimed they were still optimistic the museum would open.

According to court documents, the museum’s debt includes about $250,000 in back taxes owed to the City of Fredericksburg.