No decision on Agri-Center rental

Whether or not the county will continue to rent out the Grady County Agri-Center for private functions is yet to be decided.
Commissioners discussed the issue at its January 3 meeting but tabled action until County Clerk Carrie Kines could meet with Building and Grounds Superintendent Brian Harrison and report back to the board.
“I’ve gotten phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. Carrie, did you talk with Brian and come up with a plan because my phone is jumping off the hook,” Commissioner Faye Copeland said.
The newly elected District 4 commissioner said that once The Cairo Messenger reported the news that county officials may discontinue renting the Agri-Center she began to hear from constituents.
“We are trying to come up with some actual costs for you. Also, the two Extension Agents want to come and speak to the board about it so hopefully we can have it on the agenda for the first meeting in February,” County Clerk Carrie Kines said.
According to Commissioner Copeland several groups rent the facility each and every year and they are interested in making plans.
The board decided two weeks ago to cease renting the facility, but honor existing reservations until a final decision can be reached.
County officials say that the facility is abused and tables and chairs routinely go missing or are damaged following weekend rental of the facility.
Kines told the board on January 3 that the rental income did not cover the expense of maintaining the facility and she and Finance Director Mary Mayer recommended the board discontinue rental for private functions.
On a related topic, Vice Chairman T.D.David said federal Farm Service Agency personnel had contacted him about concerns with the Agri-Center and the indication is they may vacate the facility if the issues are not addressed.
“They lease it from us for $15,000 a year. We don’t need to lose a good, paying tenant,” David said.
He requested Kines get the FSA officials and the county’s building and grounds superintendent together to see if the issues could be addressed as soon as possible and report back to the board.

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