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Lincoln Civic Center

Supervisors impressed with facility upgrade PDF Print E-mail

During a tour of the complex Monday, Lincoln County supervisors were impressed by improvements and upgrades made at the county's multi-purpose facility.

Supervisors have worked closely with the Lincoln County Multi-Purpose Complex Commission over the past year to assist with many of the projects, but this was the first time they toured the facility as a group to take note of the many improvements, said facility manager Quinn Jordan.

The commission was created in June 2006 and tasked with making the facility a self-sustaining operation after the city withdrew and sold its interest to the county.

"We gave you a budget and you were kind enough to give us what we asked for," said Pat McCullough, commission chairman.

The facility will complete its first budget year in September having used approximately 93 percent of the funding, he said.

However, by using sponsors and aggressively pursuing grants, many thousands of dollars more have been spent in modernizing the facility, he said. Supervisors providing "in kind" work on the projects made the grants possible.

"We have reached out and tried to involve sponsors," McCullough said. "Without them, we would not be where we are today because we wouldn't have had the budget for it."

Work completed on the facility in the past year includes a repainting of much of the multi-purpose building's interior, the construction of a business office in the foyer, new lighting in the auditorium and an entire remodeling of the arena, including the addition of livestock washing stalls.

"We catered on the front end to the things that we felt would be of the most immediate benefit to the people," McCullough said.

However, he said, the facelift is essentially complete and any further improvements are likely to cost much more to implement.

Future plans are to construct pads for overnight camping, with power and sewage hookups. The commission, with supervisors' approval, is also working with a local sports organization in an attempt to secure funding to create a seven-field baseball complex on unused property at the facility.

Already, McCullough said, the facility is making "firsts." It held the first pole-bending event in the southern states this year and other noteworthy events. The commission is also trying to organize a county fair, he said.

"We wanted to do that this fall and it just didn't come together," the commission chairman said. "Now, we're looking at a spring fair."

Despite all the improvements and forecasted major projects still in the pipeline, McCullough said the commission will request $3,500 less from supervisors as they prepare next year's budget. The facility's budget this year was $167,934.07.

"We won't be dropping anything out of our plans, but that should do us if the sponsors and grants continue to come in," he said.

McCullough also noted that although commissioners were authorized to charge the county per diem for their meetings and other expenses associated with the facility, they had not done so.

"Not one dollar has left the treasury of this facility to a commissioner," he said. "That's the dedication you have of those serving on this board."