Conference Center

The expected deficit of the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year nears $375,000, according to Rebecca French, general manager of the center.

French and Stan Teal, chairman of the Public Building Authority (PBA), presented the center’s proposed budget for 2019-2020 fiscal year during the Coffee County Budget and Finance Committee’s meeting on May 16.

PBA owns and operates the center, and Coffee County and Manchester City equally cover the center’s operating costs.

For the next fiscal year, the conference center is expected to have a deficit of $374,813, meaning the county and Manchester City each will have to appropriate $187,406 to cover the center’s operating costs.

Commissioner Bobby Bryan noted that the requested amount of $374,813 – the county’s portion being $187,406 – exceeds the funds the county appropriated for this year. The county approved an amount of $126,000 for the current fiscal year.

The expected deficit in FY20, however, is lower than it was in 2016 and 2017.

The conference center had a deficit of $301,329 in FY15, $407,178 in FY16 and $505,975 in FY17.


Maintenance needs

About $80,500 of the expected expenditures next fiscal year will be for maintenance, according to French.

This amount is for building upkeep that’s beyond day-to-day repair, she said.

“We have several things that are required or very necessary,” French said.

The air walls, ceiling tiles and the fire alarm are some of the biggest items that will have to be repaired.

The air walls have not been serviced for 18 years, according to PBA officials. That will cost about $8,000.

The fire alarm repair will have a price tag of $2,000.

The parking lot will have to see a facelift, as well. Its repair has been put off for the last two budget periods, according to PBA.

The parking lot renovation is expected to come at a cost of $14,000.

The carpet also needs to be replaced, and those expenses are expected to be about $45,000, according to PBA officials.

The roof will also have to be inspected and any damage will have to be repaired.

The cost of the roof repair project is estimated at about $5,500.

The budget and finance committee didn’t vote to appropriate the requested funds.

The committee is expected to discuss the issue again and vote on it, as part of the entire county budget, at upcoming meetings.

Elena Cawley may be reached via email at