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Lincoln Civic Center ends year in black

The expenditures at the Lincoln Civic Center outweighed the revenues by $71,000, but the adjusted cash balance at the end of fiscal year 2019 showed the multi-use facility more than $100,000 in the black.

Lincoln Civic Center Commission Chairman William Kimble delivered an end-of-the-year report to supervisors Monday that garnered big kudos from one board member.

“Well, from what I’ve seen, y’all did a dang good job. A very good job,” District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown said.

Kimble used pie charts to explain the money spent and revenues collected at the multi-use facility during the recent fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. The combined operations of the civic center and the Lincoln Civic Center Baseball Complex last year required expenditures of $809,760 off revenues of $738,406. Because the center began the fiscal year with $171,919, it was able to go into FY 2020 with a six-figure balance.

The facility, opened in 1999, features a multi-purpose building suitable for many types of functions, a performance arena, a stall barn, an RV Park and a baseball complex.

The civic center receives yearly appropriations from the county of $228,855, which represents about 30 percent of its revenues.

The center generated $40,000 through rentals, $97,462 through the RV park and $45,887 through promoted events such as the Wildlife Expo and spring and fall fairs.

Operating expenses of the multi-purpose building, RV park, arena and stall area were $158,883, while the operating expense for the baseball complex was $242,883.

An erosion control ditch project cost $73,000, although a grant through the Natural Resources Conservation Service through the USDA paid for $51,686 of it, Kimble said.

Executive Director Quinn Jordan spent $27,764 on capital projects including an ATV, a field sweeper, an upgrade to the RV park, stall barn, audio and grounds upgrades.

Another expense is a yearly bond payment of $15,382 for the $135,000 “red iron” steel-painting project, a bond which the commission is paying back to the county.

Payroll is a major expense. Total payroll for the entire complex is $251,265 with another $14,493 in overtime.

“The overtime that we generated did not require any tax dollars to cover it. We covered it 100 percent through revenue that we generated at the complex,” Kimble said.

Kimble said the money earmarked from the county nearly balances the payroll.

“Our appropriation from the county doesn’t quite cover our payroll, but it gets the most of it,” he said. “That payroll is going to people that live in Lincoln County that are paying county taxes and buying Lincoln County car tags. So that revenue stream is coming back to the county in itself.”

District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey has been watchful of the Lincoln Civic Center’s spending in the past and Monday was no different.

“We’re still losing money. My question is, y’all have been in there for 13 years, if you could tell me two years down the road, three years down the road that we’re going to break even or make a little money, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it but it seems like the more we make the more we spend,” he said. “There’s got to be a happy medium to that. We could spend 10 times more than what we’ve got on our budget for roads and bridges, but we don’t have it and we don’t have any way to go out and get it, so therefore we’ve got to live with that. I have no hard feelings to anyone out there, but it’s money, and it’s the county’s money.”

Kimble said the county has given the center $228,000 yearly for at least 10 years.

“The civic center hasn’t come here and asked for any more,” he said. “As the center continues to build, it’s taking more and more to run it, but that’s what we were here today showing where we did that.”

Brown compared Lincoln Civic Center to King’s Daughters Medical Center and Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Not everyone uses them, but the county supports them, he said.

“I think you need every reward possible we could give you for running that operation,” Brown said.

The goal is to at least break even each year, Kimble said. The plus is the positive marketing the civic center, arena and baseball complex generate for the county.

“It’s made to break even, but look at all the tax gain come in the city,” Brown said. “That’s where you gain with these kind of operations. The community gains.”