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Board of Supervisors to discuss separate commission for Business Center and Arena

As the Business Center and Arena being built off County Road 406, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors discussed potentially forming a commission to manage the complex Monday.

The board, looking for a way to set a budget, spends allotted funds and hire new staff, conferred about establishing a five to seven-member commission, which would include at least one county supervisor.

However, Board of Supervisors president Jeff Busby wanted to make one thing clear: this commission would not part of the city’s parks and recreation division.

“We’re not taking over,” Busby said. “We’re still very happy with the partnership we have with the city on that, it’s just a park commission board to manage the multi-purpose facility, not a park commission board to start parks and recreations.”

The established commission would report to the Board of Supervisors, and the county supervisors would also have the power to abolish the commission if they saw fit.

Discussions for a separate commission began when County Attorney David O’Donnell first mentioned the idea. Supervisor Mike Roberts was initially against having a commission.

“My fear is that we’re using tax payer money to subsidize it,” Roberts said. “We knew from the get go we’re losing the ability to massage or maneuver what happens.”

Supervisor Kevin Frye suggested appointing one of those other supervisors to serve on the commission. The supervisors left the discussion at coming up with five names, in order to get approval for those names at the next Board of Supervisors meeting next month.

While a full commission wasn’t agreed upon, the supervisors did agree that at least a couple supervisors should serve to represent the entire board.

The business complex, which broke ground in April of 2018, is still under construction and a Bryan Ellis, a representative from Innovative Construction Management who was updating the supervisors on the construction, said the complex is 64 percent complete with 210 days remaining.

Weather has slowed down construction, however Ellis said the contract had two weather days built into it. The next construction milestone for the complex is setting up conditioned air for the building, which will happen in the next two to three weeks.

However, the biggest obstacle the complex is facing now is laying asphalt, as the asphalt plants close on December 15.

If the complex does not get asphalt down by then, it won’t be able to until at least March of 2019. That would push the complex’s opening back until at least April.