Update on Conference Center Budget

On Monday WMSR reported that Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center Manager Rebecca French says the center needs more money. French recently presented the Coffee County Budget and Finance Committee with two proposals, one totaling $416,000. French says this one includes in-kind discounts given to nonprofit organizations and schools that rent the center. The second option, totaling about $316,000, does not include continued in-kind contributions.
French informed WMSR that $94,000 was for repairs and maintenance of the building. She said the building needed new carpet (the current carpet is almost six years old), new ceiling tiles and parking lot resurfacing. This accounts for around $49,000; the rest is regular maintenance, repairs and lawn service. French added that all of the equipment in the building will be 17 years old without any major capital expense to date (like an entire air unit or refrigerator system going out). French said, “It’s time to start expecting some of those repairs.”
The center was built in 2002 for $3.5 million dollars with $1.5 million still owed. Losses at the center have topped $1 million over the last three years combined.
Coffee County and Manchester City taxpayers split the costs of the center, which includes paying for the building and operating costs.
The committee did not vote on the budget proposal.