Archaeology Museum Out Of Building On Main Street

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The Museum of Rim Country Archaeology will soon be out of commission and closing its doors.

A proposed lease agreement that would have allowed the MRCA to remain on Main Street in its current location was unanimously turned down by the Payson Womans Club on Tuesday.

The MRCA has co-inhabited the building owned by the Womans Club for the last five years, thanks to a contract between the Womans Club and the Northern Gila County Historical Society that benefited the museum, Jinx Pyle, historical society president said.

The result is the museum will likely have to be out within the next week and either relocate or face closing down altogether, Bob Breen, a member of the Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society, said.

"We met the (Womans Club's) lease offer and they turned it down," Breen said. "The museum is dead. It's not a good situation."

A five-year contract between the Womans Club and the historical society, which was for $1 a year in rent plus utility expenses, will expire July 31. The Womans Club is raising the rent to $500 per month and the historical society voted in June not to renew the lease with the Womans Club, Pyle said.

If the MRCA wanted to stay, the RCCAAS would have had to come up with the funding.

The RCCAAS was faced with the dilemma of raising more than $1,200 a month to cover rent, and about $700 in building maintenance and utilities to keep the museum open.

Breen and archaeologist Penny Minturn said the museum had the funds via savings and fund-raising efforts.

"We absolutely had enough money," Breen said.

Anita White, president of the Womans Club, said there were concerns that the RCCAAS wouldn't be able to afford the lease price for the entire term of the lease.

White said that the club would be looking to lease out the other half of the building in the future.

Pyle said that the historical society will remove its artifacts from the museum by next week and will be looking for a storage facility.

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