Danville City Commissioners, in a split vote Monday, turned down a request from the McDowell House board of managers to fix the city's drainage problems on Second Street.
Commissioners Ryan Owens and Chester Kavanaugh and Mayor John W.D. Bowling voted to turn down the request while Commissioners Terry Crowley and Jamey Gay voted in favor of it.
McDowell House and its collections of furniture and portraits are threatened by moisture, preservationist Joe Opperman told commissioners.
Kavanaugh said that he could not justify fixing the problem before the commissioners address other residents' storm water issues.
Bowling first asked why McDowell House couldn't spend some of its $300,000 grant monies to fix the problem. Then he said that he questioned whether the city would be spending public money on a private project, if it helped.
Opperman explained that the city would be building a storm water collection system on city property and that the work would fix drainage problems all along Second Street.