PBA Takes Up On Upcoming Conference Center Musical Events And Contested Land Issues At October Meeting | Local News


Manchester Coffee County Conference Center Managing Director Rebecca French has reported to Manchester PBA that the next outdoor music series will be delayed, in part due to delays in delivery to the stage.

“We didn’t order the staging because we were told that with all the freight and shipping issues it wouldn’t happen here, so we rotated and changed locations in our parking lot. “French said.

The conference center hopes to start hosting outdoor events on Friday and Saturday evenings from November.

French said the centre’s sales were down $ 994 from what was expected.

“Our cost was good, we lost $ 3,000, so the gross profit went up. The work went slightly beyond what we had planned… and the publicity was higher because there were two chamber events hosted by Tullahoma Chamber that we attend and pay for, ”French said.

One area that will require financial attention is that of the center’s struggling HVAC units. Recent leaks have caused water damage to the centre’s ceilings. Since 2015, the center has spent over $ 21,000 on HVAC repairs. The centre’s seven units, which have been in operation since 2001-2002, are starting to wear out. She said there must be a plan to replace the units.

Manchester Mayor Marilyn Howard, present at the meeting, suggested that the MPBA may spend some of the $ 69,000 in sinking funds that were transferred from the former Coffee County PBA to the current one. Manchester PBA for repairs. Members of the PBA confirmed to Howard that there was about $ 53,000 in depreciation money left.

The overall PDB budget for the month was $ 35,274 plus depreciation. This month, French reported the conference center was under $ 30,538.43. The city, however, budgeted for the conference center by $ 29,000.

“We’re in the MPBA budget, on city allocations, but we’re only going to ask for the city allocation, because I currently have over $ 30,000 in December contracts on our projections,” French said. at the MPBA.

“After December, we have to make sure that we are all aligned so that our relationships are the same. I don’t want to ask for money and keep it when the city may need it and we don’t need it now, ”French said.

French said the center hosted 2,656 visitors, 27 hotel nights and 23 events in September. She said the stays had an economic impact of nearly $ 3,000 on the Manchester community.

According to French’s report, since the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, the center has made $ 46,000 in sales and demanded $ 87,000 from the city.

The payroll for the year (July 1 to September) was $ 88,341. Maintenance and utilities will be $ 19,280.

“We lost $ 55,000 in sales, but we’re still open. I feel like we’re doing a good job of controlling the numbers and ratios and making sure our highest category, payroll, is taken care of, ”she said.

For September, French said there had been $ 10,668 in lost contracts due to COVID-19.

“We would have had $ 28,000 in sales versus $ 17,000 if everyone who had been hired here had come – we would have been over budget,” she said.

French said the conference center was denied a state grant for a shuttered venue that the center hoped to bolster its finances in this year’s budget by adding about 76 ????

French said she raised the issue with the tourism commissioner at the governor’s conference she attended for the conference center.

He was told that the grants were designed for small, fragile businesses to ensure their survival.

Members of the Manchester PBA also questioned the state of play with Wayne Lance seeking mediation regarding his third-party ownership of the property that houses the centre’s open-air wedding venue.

“I think someone is going to sue the city, or someone is going to sue the county or both,” President Zach Lowry said.

The city and PBA take a wait-and-see stance with Lance.

Howard said that in 2020 the city did not own this land.

“Mayor (Gary) Cordell is the one who signed this contract, so until (Lance) moves out, we don’t plan on doing anything,” she said.

Howard went on to say, “I wouldn’t have signed this contract, neither would Mayor (Lonnie) Norman, knowing it was contested land.”

French explained that when she applied for the grant, she went to the county’s budget and finance committee for approval.

She said the documentation required by the state included the deed of ownership in the grant application.

“This is the area,” French told the board, highlighting the location of the property on a map. “He owns one-third of the available land. The PBA and the city and county own two-thirds. It does not specify in the act which part of a third or two thirds it is, ”she said.

The documents show that the county, town and Lance own the property and the MPBA leases the real estate while the PBA owns the non-real property, such as in buildings.

“We maintained the entire acre and spent hours of labor and dollars and cleared this land ourselves. We bulldozed it, crushed it, sodded, put the road. We did all of this in-house, we kept the entire area instead of only keeping two-thirds, ”French said.

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. John has won the Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photography and has placed in many other categories. John graduated from Tullahoma High School in 1994, graduated from Motlow State Community College, and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, enjoys painting, dancing and exploring the outdoors.

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