Repairs approved for arena

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

County plans to resume management in June

Two weeks after confirming that it will resume the management of the Covington Center Arena after leasing it to a private individual for 10 years, the Covington County Commission voted to spend $30,000 on improvements in the facility.

For the past 10 years, the county has leased the facility to Don Bullard, who has notified commissioners that he does not plan to renew the lease in June.

Last month, Commission Chairman Greg White told The Star-News the commission plans to take over the management; however, Tuesday marked the first time the commissioners had publicly discussed their plans. 

Maintenance department supervisor Kevin Kennedy told commissioners Tuesday that he recently checked the facility and reported that the bathrooms need work.

“Over the years, they have gone in there and pressure washed the bathrooms and put a lot of water in there,” Kennedy said. “They just look terrible, and that was the general consensus. I went down there and took a lot of pictures and kind of did an overview of everything.”

Kennedy said that there are several things in the bathrooms that need to be addressed before the county takes over management.

“The things that I found, were mostly cosmetic,” Kennedy said. “Some painting, replacing some of the handrails and countertops, broken toilet seats. I made a list of everything and emailed it to the commissioners.”

One use of the money approved will be to replace all of the countertops in the bathrooms.

“I have gathered several quotes for countertops,” Kennedy said. “One of them is stainless steel, another is granite and the last one is quartz, which is similar to granite. The granite came in a little cheaper than the others to replace all of the countertops. There are six countertops, three women’s and three men’s. The total for the granite is $9,440 to replace all of those.”

Kennedy gave Commission Chairman Greg White an estimate of about $20,000 to fix minor things around the arena that he said would make a big difference.

“The $20,000 would be just labor and materials to do different things around the arena,” Kennedy said. “Like restripe the parking lot, fix the concrete in certain places, repaint the bathroom floors, change ceiling tile and replace light bulbs. That is all just little stuff that will make the arena more operable. If we could get some amount of money to provide for all of that, maybe $30,000 just to cover something that I didn’t see needed fixing, it could probably get us in line.”

Given that  Bullard’s lease is still in place until June 30, Kennedy doesn’t know for sure how or when the work will take place.

“I have talked to Don Bullard about going ahead and starting the work even though his lease isn’t finished,” Kennedy said. “He said that he didn’t mind.”

The Alabama High School State Rodeo is scheduled the arena for June, and Commissioner Joe Barton said that he would like some of the work finished before then.

The $30,000 would come out of the capital improvement funds, Barton said.

The commission also:

• Nominated Kyle Gantt, Virginia Brauner and Joe Bush to the County Board of Equalization.