Museum fund drive targets energy renovations

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Historical society hopes to replace inefficient heating, cooling systems

By The Staff

TELL CITY - The Tell City Historical Society is conducting a fund drive to pay for renovations at its museum that will reduce energy consumption.  "Over the last couple of years, it has become painfully obvious that too much of our cash has been going to pay for utilities," a letter from the society and Mark Ress, project chairman and museum curator, said.  In 2008, total utilities cost more than $7,500. These costs have been kept to a minimum by maintaining a minimum temperature during unoccupied hours. This is not the suggested method of control, because a museum should be kept at constant temperature and humidity.  In a move to become more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, a committee was formed in 2009 and their recommendations included:  • Since all exterior walls are solid masonry, frame out and insulate existing exterior walls. • Eliminate three-phase power. • Replace old heating and cooling equipment with more energy efficient equipment. • Replace or eliminate glass in certain areas of the contemporary addition. • Replace the ceiling sections in the contemporary addition that have not previously been replaced, removing the "can" lights and insulating the ceiling. The committee also recommended replacing gutters on the museum's newest addition and extending the downspouts underground to direct water away from the basement.  Total costs are estimated at $143,125 and the society is asking for the public's help. Approximately $60,000 has already been donated or pledged. The society intends to hire all local contractors for the work.  Donations can be mailed to the Tell City Historical Society Inc. at P.O. Box 728, Tell City, IN 47586-0728 or can be taken to the museum during regular hours Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday evenings 6 to 8 p.m. Questions can be directed to Ress at 547-4159.

The museum is funded by its members, donations, grants, the sale of books and DVDs produced by the society and interest from a small endowment. No admission is charged for entry to the museum. All members donate their time and talents. The society is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation and all gifts are tax-deductible.