GIBSON — The Gibson Town Commission on Thursday approved a lease between the town and The Gibson Museum for use of the Gibson Depot in storing and displaying items related to Gibson’s past.
The seven-year lease comes with a $1-per-year price tag and will serve mainly as an official terms-of-use agreement for the museum, providing documentation about insurance coverage and utilities, delineating maintenance responsibilities and defining the rights to museum artifacts.
As owner of the building, the town will assume responsibility for the first two items, as well as the maintenance of the building and grounds and the site’s overall appearance. The lease assigns upkeep of the museum’s interior to the museum, specifying that task should be carried out by volunteers, and prevents the town from taking ownership of donated artifacts should the lease at any time dissolve.
The museum is an ongoing project being led by town employee and museum president Greg Leonard and museum vice-president Paul Rossi. With the help of Hamlet depot museum director Miranda Chavis, Leonard is planning displays that will pay tribute to area veterans as well as the town’s agricultural history.
The museum fund is up to $5,800, Mayor Ronnie Hudson said, bolstered by $1,200 raised during the Tuesday Cruisers antique car cruise-in on April 29.
In other business, the town approved the purchase of a five-year warranty for the town’s backhoe, at a cost of $3,500 or $700 per year.
With urging from commissioner Lula Cottingham, the board also voted to place rocking chairs donated to the museum in front of the brick fireplace that occupies the central portion of the depot.
Cottingham also voiced concerns about the town spending taxpayer dollars to cut grass on a portion of a town resident’s property, a complaint Hudson rebuffed by saying the town has done maintenance on her property five times before.
“I cannot understand your reasoning,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest.
Commissioner Stephen Hudson motioned that the mayor and the town maintenance department should have full authority to cut grass as they see fit. The motion passed support from Randy Pearson, with commissioner Pete Wilkins voting against and Cottingham not raising her hand in support or dissent.
Commissioner Ken Haney was absent.
Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 12. Follow her on Twitter @aoinscotco.