Flood costs of $45,000 for museum

Flooding at the Otago Settlers Museum complex earlier this year has resulted in damage, clean-up costs and repairs totalling $45,000, museum organisers say.

Scores of artefacts stored in a transport artefact repair area and nearby bus garage at the museum were damaged after a water main burst, and water flowed inside the southern end of the complex, early on April 4.

The museum's public display areas and storage facilities elsewhere in the complex were unaffected.

The settlers museum and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery are both owned by the city council and operated through Dunedin City Museums, its museums unit.

Grant McDonald, the acting manager of Dunedin City Museums, said that, of the overall $45,000 flooding costs, $28,000 was spent to clean up the water and debris washed into the building when a nearby water main blew out.

All the items stored in the affected areas had had to be shifted, he said in an interview.

The cost of making repairs to restore all water-affected items to their previous condition had been assessed at a further $18,000, he said.

"No item was found to be irreparable as a result of the inundation," he added.

All work associated with this incident was covered by the city council's insurers, with the first $10,000 of the overall costs paid, as an excess, by the council's self-insurance fund, he said.

The flooding was discussed at a recent meeting of the settlers museum board, when a financial report for the 12 months until June 30 was tabled.

The museum ended the financial year with a $6000 better-than-budget result.

The report noted that income was $93,000 higher than initially projected, offsetting spending which was $87,000 higher than budget.

Bequests had contributed to the admissions and general revenue section being $56,000 better than budget.

Grants from the Otago Settlers Association for the Pixietown display last December and for the later centennial celebrations had contributed to a $41,000 better-than-budget outcome in the education and visitor programmes section of the accounts.

Other increased income had come from the museum's popular Walk the City walking tours.

Amid the higher-than-budgeted spending, collections management spending was $33,000 worse than budget, partly as a result of further funding for cataloguing staff.

Some conservation spending resulting from the flooding was to be recovered from an insurance claim, the report noted.

Mr McDonald said in an interview that the overall financial outcome was positive after a busy year of exhibitions and other activities.


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