VCC budget, maintenance on track

Published 11:12 am Friday, July 22, 2016

Maintenance work and the predicted budget have been pretty much on schedule so far this year at the convention center.

The advisory board of the Vicksburg Convention Center had a meeting Wednesday morning to discuss maintenance, revenue and events during the third quarter.

The lodging tax for the quarter was much higher than expected coming in at 22.7 percent above the budget. With the lodging tax factored into the equation, the convention center has a $47,919 net operating surplus on the year.

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“Even though we have this $24,000 in unexpected repair and maintenance, we’re still in the black,” executive director Annette Kirklin said.

Expenses for the quarter were 1 percent higher than anticipated because of building and grounds repair and maintenance.

As for the year, expenses are 3 percent below the expected budget before the lodging tax was applied.

“We have to fix what breaks,” Kirklin said.

The roof and window replacement project is essentially finished with most of the windows, the new awning and the replaced roof complete leaving only a few windows left to be installed.

The roof replacement did lead to some unexpected leaks, Kirklin said, but the roof drainage was patched up along the way as the maintenance project continued.

“They are fixing them as we go along,” Kirklin said.

Heating and cooling issues have hit the convention center during the third quarter of the year in late spring and early summer.

Events and operations manager Erin Powell Southard’s report said HVAC repairs alone for the quarter add up to close to $10,000.

At this time there are five high-cost major maintenance projects on the list for the convention center that will most likely have to wait until 2017.

“About two years ago, when I took this over, it was a whole page worth of stuff. The city has been very instrumental and attentive to our needs. I am happy to say I have a page and a half of completed projects instead of needed projects,” Southard said.

During the third quarter, the center hosted 31 events including the 36th Annual Alcorn State University Jazz Festival featuring the Branford Marsalis Quartet, an Indian Artifact Show, the Mississippi Community College Board, a CrossFit competition, the Miss Mississippi Pageant and a worship service with Episcopal Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Michael Curry.

Compared to last year, usage days are up 10 percent and attendance numbers are nearly dead even with a difference of 55 people.

Revenue for the quarter was 1 percent above the projected budget at $95,783.

For the 2015-2016 fiscal year, revenue is 4.4 percent less than the projected budget at $326,573.

Concessions revenue was 2.8 percent below the projected quarter budget, but it is 4 percent higher than the projected budget year to date.

“That budget was done June of last year to go from October to September. It’s a lot of predicting. When that works out that close, it’s unreal,” Kirklin said.

The board will meet next Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 9 a.m.