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Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 3:00am

Coin Sales Will Cut Infantry Museum's Debt

A bill on the president’s desk will give the National Infantry Museum in Columbus a new way to pay down some of its debt: the proceeds from sales of a commemorative coin.

The U.S. Mint is selling an Infantry Soldier Silver Dollar this year to commemorate the Army infantry and the now three-year-old Columbus museum.

The National Infantry Foundation gets $10 from each coin sold, said president Ben Williams. Originally, that money could only be used for operating the museum.

“We started about a year ago pursuing getting the bill amended so that it would just give us some additional options in terms of how to use these proceeds, either to use it for helping with the operating costs of the facility or to pay down debt,” Williams said.

The mint will produce up to 350,000 of the collectable coins, generating more than $3 million for the museum if they’re all sold.

“It will be a nice reduction in our debt,” Williams said. “And we have other pledges that are unpaid pledges, people that have committed to support and donate money over an extended period of time.”

The $100 million infantry museum has more than $10 million dollars in debt remaining.

The collectors’ coins cost $49.95 for the uncirculated silver dollar and $54.95 for the proof silver dollar.