A bat problem at the Kentuck Art Center in Northport is costing much more than museum officials expected.
The issue came to light in March and employees moved out at the time so the bats could be removed and the building cleaned.
Kentuck officials are asking for $50,000 from the city of Northport to help pay for repairs relating to the bat problem. That money would go toward removing the bats and fixing holes in the broken windows or ceiling that allowed the bats to get inside.
The city of Northport has agreed to pay the $50,000 to fix the bat-related issues with the building.
Another estimated $125,000 is needed to renovate, add insulation and make improvements to the aging building. Officials with the arts center plan to raise that money through fundraisers and donations.
It appears the bats made a home in the second floor of the building. Exterminators say bats and their droppings can carry serious diseases and removing bat droppings releases spores that can make people sick. As a result, the office and art gallery shop had to be moved from the Main Avenue building.
Shweta Gamble, Kentuck's former executive director, explained the bind this puts the arts group in back in March.
"We don't want to leave anything because we just don't know about the residue from the cleanup," Gamble said. "We don't want anything to get contaminated. We don't want any artwork, nothing. We are not leaving anything in there."
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