The local museum board is continuing to look at options for storing items not displayed in the museum, including continuing discussions with the Great Northern Fair Board about increasing its storage there.
H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Board member Gary Wilson said this week that he is concerned about how much the museum might need to pay to store additional items at the fairgrounds, in the building that housed the museum until the late 1990s.
Fairgrounds manager Tim Solomon said at that board’s meeting last week that, while he had some reservations about giving up additional space, he supported the idea of increasing the fair board’s revenue during these times of budget difficulties. Solomon suggested $200 a month to rent the space out.
At the museum board’s meeting, Wilson said he doubts the museum could afford that much, and said he told Solomon while looking at the space previous to the meeting that $50 probably is more what the museum board would support. He said Solomon told him he would bring that up to the fair board.
Elaine Morse, head of the Clack foundation board, which helps fund the operations of the museum and the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump, said she didn’t think one county entity should have to pay another entity to be able to use that space, with general agreement from several board members.
Morse said the area the museum wants to use in the back of the building is not used by the fair board, although the board has tried to rent the use of the building out.
At previous fair board meetings, Solomon had said that the fair stores some items in the area where the museum board wants increased storage, although he said he believes he can find other areas to store those items.
The fair board has for the last two years been increasing its attempts to find groups to rent out the building while the Great Northern Fair is not running, although the rentals have only amounted to a couple of times a summer so far.
The fair board purchased the building from the museum board in the late 1990s when the museum moved to the former U. S. courthouse and post office on 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue, previous to its moving to the Holiday Village Mall in the middle of the last decade.
The fair board for 10 years paid the museum board a fraction of its annual revenue from the county mills assessed for the fair.
Board member Eli Salapich suggested the board look into purchasing its own storage unit that could be placed on county land, creating a permanent storage location. The board directed Salapich to research that idea and bring the results back to the board.
The museum board also discussed the move of the museum, which is expected to be completed next month.
Salapich said work is progressing on remodeling the new museum location The work is being done by his employer, Lotton Construction Inc. The new museum space will be on the north side of the east end of the mall, next to the Sears location.
Salapich said most of the work on the walls of the location is complete, and he is waiting on the new carpeting to arrive and to lay that in.
Museum manager John Bruington talked about his schedule in boxing up the items in the current location of the museum, which will be stored until the new location is ready. The board members agreed to come in as possible to help Bruington move the items in the museum.