The Sugar Land City Council plans to help a local historical organization balance its budget. In a workshop session Tuesday, the council came to a consensus—but did not vote—that it wanted to have city staff help the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation sort out its financial situation.

Afterward, the city would decide whether financial contributions to the organization are needed in order the open the Foundation’s museum at the Imperial Market mixed-use development.

“At that point in time we can make a real decision in terms of what kind of funding is needed to get this thing over across the finish line,” Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman said.

The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation previously asked the council for renewed contributions from the city to help open the museum. Foundation Executive Director Dennis Parmer said at an Aug. 23 meeting that donations had fallen despite usual fundraisers and partnerships.

On an annual basis, the city had contributed $75,000 from 2009 to 2015 to the foundation. But this year the city put the contribution toward building the foundation’s museum.

The foundation had requested continued help starting with $75,000 this year and a gradual reduction of $15,000 each following year until 2020. Heritage Foundation President Martin Nicholas said the organization has a negative balance of $39,000, although he was unsure sure exactly what factors contributed to that.

He accepted the offer from the city to help the foundation get its financial situation in order.

“That sounds very acceptable and very generous,” Nicholas said.

Each city council member expressed support for helping the Foundation in some way.

“The Foundation has already done so many things and has brought back a sense of heritage to our community …” council member Bridget Yeung said. “I think having somebody look at the budget will help you immensely and I’m looking forward to our museum.”

Some council members also said they did not want a multi-year financial commitment to the Foundation.

“I’m not really too excited to commit more than what we had already talked about,” council member Himesh Gandhi said, adding he did not desire to contribute more than $75,000.

The city and the Foundation have a goal of opening the 8,000-square-foot museum in the first quarter of 2017 with the museum and city visitor’s center sharing the second floor of the container warehouse at Imperial.

“I also want to thank you for your willingness to provide some leadership and direction,” Nicholas said. “I would say, that can allow us to have a visitor’s center and Heritage Foundation museum that I think will stand out among all the communities around Houston.”