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Civic center board lays out funding for supervisors

County supervisors said they wanted to know more about finances at the Lincoln Civic Center, and now they do.

Lincoln Civic Center Commission Chairman William Kimble on Monday delivered a dollar-by-dollar accounting of the center’s income and expenditures to the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, showing pie charts and explaining the origin and destination of every dollar spent at the multi-use facility in Fiscal Year 2018, which ended Sept. 30. The combined operations of the civic center and the Lincoln Civic Center Baseball Complex last year required expenditures of $875,475 off revenues of $776,070, with some money already in the hole to start with and most of the income generated by events and rentals.

“All these commitments are to make sure we don’t show up to a board meeting one morning with our hats in our hands and say, ‘our air conditioner has quit, can you take care of it for us,’ or, ‘this equipment has gone out, can you help?’” Kimble told supervisors.

Kimble’s presentation came after a fiscal year in which the board and the commission sparred over funding and procedures, with supervisors questioning the commission’s need for public money and the commission threatening to quit.

District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey, who has been the main doubter of civic center needs, has so far unsuccessfully urged the board to amend the commission’s bylaws. District 1 Supervisor and board president the Rev. Jerry Wilson has also questioned the board’s annual $228,885 commitment to the civic center and is a well-known stickler for county departments reporting to the board.

So, two weeks into the new fiscal year, the commission reported.

The board’s annual allotment to the civic center makes up 29 percent of its total revenue. The next biggest chunk is the $191,624 that accounts for a quarter of the budget, coming from fees, concessions and rentals of the baseball complex. The center self-generates $163,197, or 21 percent, of its budget through rentals and programs.

The remaining cash is generated through rentals, admission to hosted events, an energy-efficiency rebate and $8,477 from the community-supported Lincoln Civic Center Foundation.

The commission’s biggest expense is payroll — the civic center’s full- and part-time employees require annual pay stubs in the amount of $258,212 — 30 percent of all expenditures.

“It’s not uncommon for payroll to get up to 50 percent in some operations, and I think we do a pretty good job of monitoring that,” Kimble said.

It takes $212,108, or 24 percent of expenses, to operate the civic center, while the baseball complex requires another $152,759, or 17 percent, for operations.

Fifteen percent of expenditures are for the $135,000 “red iron” steel-painting project, a bond which the commission is paying back to the county. The remaining 14 percent of costs are from lighting, audio and infrastructure upgrades.