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County supervisors approve Arts Council to manage arena

During a Lafayette County Board of Supervisors recess meeting on Thursday, the county supervisors approved the management agreement for the nearly completed multipurpose building, naming the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council as the facility manager.

The agreement between the county and YAC also includes managing the future amphitheater still under construction. The multipurpose building is part of the new Lafayette County Business Center that is located on F.D. ‘Buddy’ East Parkway South.

YAC will serve as the exclusive manager of the facility. The initial agreement runs through 2022, or three seasons (2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022), and ends on Dec. 31, 2022. The agreement will automatically renew for up to three additional five-year terms unless the county or YAC provides written notice of its intent not to renew no later than 180 days prior to the agreement expiring or any renewal term.

“I’m very proud of this facility and the staff that we have in place,” District 4 Supervisor Chad McClarty said. “I’m looking forward to working with YAC and this thing’s only going to grow more in my opinion.”

As part of the agreement, the county will pay YAC an annual management fee of $58,845 each year of the agreement. During the meeting, the Board amended items in the lease agreement, including a refund policy change. Wayne Andrews, executive director of YAC, asked to change the policy to reflect any group booking an event has 30 days after booking to cancel the event for a full refund. The other amendment allowed the option to serve alcohol seven days a week instead of six. The Board approved both amendments.

Andrews noted during the meeting he would like to have the first event in the arena in late August.