Conference center presents budget request; expecting deficit near $400K

Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center Manager Rebecca French, seen here, estimates the center will cost the city and county $59,000 less than last year. 

The Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center is on track to save the city and county $59,000 in reimbursement costs compared to last year, according to general manager Rebecca French’s report during the Public Building Authority (PBA) meeting no Friday, Feb. 8.

In January, the center hosted 22 events, which brought in 3,367 visitors from around the state, French said. The center did $54,404 in sales for the month, which exceeded the budget projection by $15,827.

Year-to-date, the center did $54,6777 more in sales than projected in the year to date budget, totaling $420,324.62.

“That’s something we’re very proud of,” said PBA chair Stan Teal.

The rise in sales doesn’t let the city and county off the hook, though it does ease the reimbursement required by both entities. The City of Manchester and Coffee County will evenly split the $25,274.83 bill – a total that is $17,052.49 less than expected.

The year-to-date reimbursement request is down $15,108.93. In total, French is predicting the center will cost the city and county about $59,000 less than last year – around $307,000 in total, split between the county and city.

The year-to-date request from the county and city has been $74,000 so far.

“We’re desperately working toward that county appropriation,” French said.

Other conference center happenings include the beginning process to create a 3-to-5-year strategic plan, waiting on a savings analysis from Duck River before researching more loan options for the solar panels, and waiting on the installation of handrails, which are being fabricated now.

To fix recent audit findings, French announced she has started a broken and damaged inventory ledger for the PBA to approve. The auditors will be presenting their findings to the PBA March 15 at 11:30 a.m.

PBA member Greg Sandlin briefly brought the issue of representation to the table – the City of Manchester wanted to be represented on the board, despite having no legal backing to require representation. Sandlin explained the board should wait to see what the city and county decide before discussing the issue further.


News Editor

Casey recently joined the Manchester Times team in March 2018. Coming off a 17-month reporter stint in Port Chester, NY, she is looking forward to slowing down and integrating herself into the community. She currently resides in Manchester.

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