Surging inflation takes a toll on preserving the history of Aztec
AZTEC, N.M. – Many New Mexicans are having to navigate this dizzying economy with some of the highest inflation rates we’ve seen in decades, and it’s affecting pretty much everyone, even those who preserve historical artifacts.
Joan Hamblen-Monninger, is the acting director for the Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village, she says they have a hefty list of items that need repair.
“If we don’t stay a little bit on top of that, they just continue to dilapidate,” said Hamblen-Monninger.
Runaway inflation costs are taking a toll on historical preservation.
“Inflation has been hitting us hard and so we have issues with rising costs of utilities that we are trying to meet as well as the rising costs of materials. ”Hamblen-Monninger added.
These whirlwind prices of materials have made it difficult for the museum to afford much-needed repairs.
“Add in the cost of things like lumber and we need to use specific lumber when we do repair work the materials we use are pretty specific conservation-wise,” Hamblen-Monninger said.
And Hamblen-Monninger added that this puts a strain on the museum’s bottom line.
“Every day, every day we count how much we got in admissions we’re constantly looking at what the next expenses are, have we done enough to protect what is really the legacy of the community?” Hamblen-Monninger said.
That legacy fills the rooms in the museum, and conserving it ensures that history stays right at our fingertips for years to come.
“These are the documents the records of the community we have people that come locally from out of state to research and we have to keep these things in good shape so you know 50 years from now people can still come and research and learn about the community,” Hamblen-Monninger said.
Recently the Aztec City Commission awarded the museum $20,000 in funding, and although Monninger said it won’t cover the costs of everything, every little bit helps.