Business is good at the Decatur Civic Center, and the city would like to keep it that way.
Civic Center Manager Lori Sherwood told members of the Economic Development Corp. (EDC) board Thursday that the facility is in need of better sound and audio equipment. The upgrades would include replacing the screens in the Great Hall and the Chisholm Trail Suites and the installation of ceiling-mounted projectors.
The Civic Center has hosted several large gatherings recently. Sherwood said that at one point during the Look Local event held at the end of August, 600 people were in the Great Hall. The Civic Center will also host several concerts in the coming months.
Sherwood presented a plan that would have called for $81,000 to be spent in one budget year and $40,000 the next to cover the total cost of the upgrades.
EDC board members said they would rather see the project completed all at once.
“I think it might be a mistake not to do it all now,” board member Roy Eaton said.
“I don’t think our money situation is that tight” that the project would need to be divided into two years, board member and Mayor Martin Woodruff added.
The board gave the go-ahead for Sherwood to seek bids on the project, which is not to exceed $150,000. The bids would have to come before the city council for final approval.
One of the reasons the board felt comfortable moving ahead with the expenditure might be some good news they received just a few minutes earlier. The EDC’s portion of the city’s sales tax income for the 2011-2012 fiscal year totaled $1,289,357.81. That is $139,357 above what was budgeted for the year.
“You’re in good financial shape at this time,” City Manager Brett Shannon told the group.
Following a closed session, the EDC board approved a 4 percent pay raise for EDC Director Jody Adams. It is the same percentage increase the city council recently approved for city staff.