By Mark Barnes
Sometime over President’s Day weekend the back tank on the toilet in the small shack that houses all of Kuna’s prized historical collection froze up and burst. Park Superintendant Bobby Winthrow thinks that it might have run for a few days over the weekend before someone discovered the problem. He called Disaster Cleanup to come in and mop it up.
Imagine losing all of your most prized family heirlooms in a fire or flood. This small building houses almost all of the important archive documents and objects that are important to Kuna’s history. Even more important and timely with Kuna’s sesquicentennial coming up next year.
It could have been much worse. Damage was primarily to the small bathroom where the toilet and all the sheetrock had to be pulled out. Mold had quickly started to set in. Fortunately, because of the gaps along baseboards of the inexpensive building, the water mostly ran out and didn’t collect very much inside. The carpets were saturated and are currently drying out with the help of a small heater inside the building. Winthrow said that a decision hasn’t been made as to replacing the carpets at this time.
There was some slight damage to framed photographs from condensation forming in what must have been a higher than usual amount of humidity in the building. Steps have been taken to remove and dry these photos.
Overall cost estimates for the damage were unavailable.
The small metal shack in the city park just off West 2nd Avenue and North C Avenue is only open periodically, and only then when it’s warmer outside.
Mayor Greg Nelson said normally someone winterizes the building every year but it seems as if there was an oversight this winter. Even so, “It apparently made it all the way through the cold spell in January,” he said.
Before the city used the small building as the Kuna History Center “The archives were spread all over town and they were moved to the center to conwtain them,” Mayor Nelson said. “We need to find a place that’s heated.”
Prospects include making room in the current city hall or perhaps looking in to the 4th Street Gymnasium and using a portion of that if the city can acquire it.