County finalizes club’s deal to use arena

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Kiwanis Club of Andalusia approached the county commission Tuesday in an effort to formalize their verbal agreement concerning the use of the Covington Center Arena during fair week.

Harry Hinson, Kiwanis Club Foundation secretary, said the two groups have had a standing verbal agreement since the construction of the arena.

“Since that place was built we’ve both had an agreement that (the commission) would give the use of the arena for two weekends during the fair,” Hinson said. “There are only two members of the present commission who were around when that agreement was made. My board felt like it would be a good idea to put in writing.”

Hinson said in exchange for the use of the arena, the Kiwanis Club had agreed to donate one acre of property adjoining the fairground property to the county for the construction of the arena. Additionally, the club agreed if there were ever a road constructed between the two properties, it would donate three to three-and-a-half acres for use as a right-of-way, as well as to donate an additional three acres if and when the county elected to construct ball fields behind the arena.

Hinson said his board felt there should be a time limit on the offer of the land linked to the ball field project.

“We were thinking a three-year time frame,” he said. “Both (the commission and the Kiwanis Club) have enjoyed a great working relationship and we’d love to see it continue.”

Chairman Greg White said he agreed with the club’s desire to see the agreement in writing.

“I think we agree on the same points with a few exceptions,” White said. “There is no charge for Kiwanis to use the arena. In years past, the date of the fair has changed and I would like to see that if the arena has a contract event scheduled that conflicts with the date of the fair, that (contract) event takes precedence.

I also question that three-year time limit,” he said. “I think a 10-year limit would be more realistic.”

Hinson said the Kiwanis Club has no control over the date of the fair. Instead, it is left up to the schedule of the company that brings in the midway entertainment.

“I think what needs to happen is that I put my thoughts down on a memorandum so that we’re all on the same page,” White said. “However, it will be up to the next commission to carry it out.”

In other business, the commission:

signed a resolution enabling the commission to enter into contract services on behalf of the Covington Area Transit System (CATS).

announced a vacancy on the Florala Airport Authority. Anyone wishing to serve is asked to contact Commissioner Harold Elmore.

approved a four-year payout of forest proceeds from an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and Department of Treasury.