The Public Building Authority (PBA) has built its new outdoor venue on a property that is in part owned by a private individual.
PBA owns and operates the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center. The outdoor venue was completed recently and is located on a parcel near the center.
The PBA owns two-thirds of that parcel. The remaining one-third is owned by Wayne Lance, according to the deed.
At the Oct. 18 PBA meeting, member Greg Sandlin expressed concerns about part of the land being owned by another individual. Sandlin asked Rebecca French, general manager of the center, if any documents were obtained prior to building the new venue to show that Lance agreed to the project. French said she talked with him about the construction and he approved the project; however, there is not a document showing that.
Sandlin pointed out liability could be an issue and he suggested no events should be held at the venue before the matter is resolved to avoid any potential issues.
Coffee County Attorney Robert Huskey has reached out to Lance and is waiting for a response, according to Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell.
One of the options going forward will be for the county to purchase Lance’s portion of the parcel, according to PBA members.
PBA members said they plan to resolve the matter as soon as possible. During the meeting, PBA voted to hire a new attorney. Keeton & Perry, PLLC, will be the new firm representing the PBA, and the ownership of the parcel will be one of the first issues PBA will address.
Keeton & Perry will replace Huskey, who previously advised the PBA, in addition to representing the county.