County votes to stop paying for the center

The Coffee County Commission voted Nov. 10 to enter into new contract regarding the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center with Manchester City. The new arrangement will save funds to Coffee County taxpayers, according to county officials.

In Fiscal Year 2019-2020, the county paid $196,470 for operations losses of the center, according to county budget documents. The county and Manchester City equally covered that cost, meaning the total operations cost of the center for 2019-2020 neared $400,000. Since beginning of construction the center and launching operations 20 years ago, the Public Building Authority (PBA) has owned and operated the conference center, and the county and city have equally shared the operating costs. With paying off the bond for the building, the first agreement, dated Nov. 21, 2000, will terminate effective Jan. 1, 2021, according to city officials.

Coffee County Commission unanimously approved entering into a new agreement with Manchester City. The city offered to start paying the full cost associated with running the center.

By signing the new agreement, the county will see savings, according to Commissioner Todd Crockett.

“The conference center has never made money and the county is finally getting out of it,” Crockett said. “It’s only a few months from being paid off but it will save the county about $85,000 by Manchester picking up the payoff for January-June (2021).”

The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Nov. 3 to enter into a new agreement with Coffee County. Under the new contract, the city would absorb all operating cost associated with the center and form a new Public Building Authority (City PBA), to which the PBA will convey ownership of all of the non-real estate assets of the conference center, the proposed agreement states.

Recommended for you