The Public Building Authority (PBA) met on Friday, June 7 to discuss a new solar panel proposal, recognize Manchester Coffee County Conference Center (MCCCC) employees and give the monthly report.
In the April meeting, the PBA decided not to pursue solar panels, but a new deal was brought to them in May. According to the May meeting minutes, a smaller project solar panel project would be covered with the $44,000 Bonnaroo Works Fund Grant. The deadline for the grant is in July.
During the June meeting, PBA member Greg Sandlin made a motion to “move forward with this solar panel project. It’s a $22,000 loan, 30-year, not to exceed $1,000 in interest,” he said.
The loan has a 3 percent interest rate, according to the May meeting minutes.
“This year $22,000 will have been received. A loan would need to be taken for the remaining $22,000.00 that has not yet been received. At a 3 percent rate on a 30-year loan, the total interest paid would be around $800 and the payments would be $92,” according to the minutes. “The loan would be paid off by the second year with the last of the grant money being received.”
A smaller version of the solar panel project would result in a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reimbursement of $0.20 kilowatts will be grandfathered in for 19 years, according to the May meeting minutes.
The PBA voted unanimously in the June meeting to move forward with the project.
Five MCCCC employees were honored for their dedication and longevity. They are Justin Smith, Christian Pennington and Jonathan Prater, Oslin Gulick and Matt Gulick.
The plaque reads, “Thank you for your dedication to the City of Manchester and Coffee County, with continued emphasis on overall the development of a sustainable future for the Manchester Coffee County Conference Center.”
Smith has been an employee for 10 years, according to General Manager Rebecca French.
Conference center report
In the month of May, the conference center had 2,919 visitors and hosted 20 events. Year to date, the center’s seen 32,331 visitors and hosted 314 events, according to the report.
Sales-wise, the projected numbers were $37,309. However, the center actually made $31,236. French says this is due to an absence of a large wedding that occurred in May 2018.
Year to date, the actual sales are about $47K higher than the projected at $607,301.
French visited The Sewanee Inn this past month.
“Their facility cannot seat as many people as we can,” French said. “They turn away clients due to space accommodation. We turn away clients because our calendar is so full. So, from now on, to keep that money in our community, we’re going to work together and try to refer as much as we can their way and our way.
“We shared financials, we shared menus, so that if we need to raise our prices, if we need to tweak some of our things, if they need to accommodate like we do, we’re going to do work to have a cohesive relationship that is a similar outcome,” French said.
The PBA was looking forward to see what this partnership could do for the center in the future.