Batesville Civic Center

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baptist association jumps in line for non-profits at BCC

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville aldermen considered Tuesday the first application for reduced rental fee use of the Batesville Civic Center by a non-profit organization and found it incomplete.

The city officials took no action to approve the application from Panola County Baptist Association. It was the first to be received after aldermen adopted a policy which limits the center’s reduced rental fee for non-profits to 10 days annually. The mayor and aldermen worked with BCC Director Roy Hyde to develop the policy after the number of civic organizations requesting free or reduced fee use of the facility increased in early fall.

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Aldermen discussed with assistant City Attorney Colmon Mitchell and City Clerk Laura Herron the application form and instructions. The policy requires documentation proving that the organization is non-profit.

“I don’t think it’s that self-explanatory,” said Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator David Karr. As a city department supervisor, Karr regularly attends meetings of city elected officials. At the Dec.7 meeting, he asked questions about the application from the Baptist association as a liaison from the organization.

“We can rewrite this and make it more explicit about what’s required,” Mitchell said.

“I’m all for letting them have it as long as everything’s in order,” Alderman Stan Harrison said. “We just started this and if this is the first one we’re going to do I want to get it right.”

“I’ll take a shot at rewriting and then let y’all look at it and see if there’s any further clarification,” Mitchell said.

In other BCC business, aldermen voted 5-0 to reappoint Hyde as director. The decision had been postponed 90 days to allow Hyde to comply with a requirement that city supervisory employees reside in the county.

Hyde also reported that BCC had successfully hosted for the third consecutive year the annual O’Reilly Auto Parts National Indoor Kart Championship.

The BCC director said that 900 racers entered. “Usually something that’s youth-driven like this event is, … it’s at least two people per contestant,” Hyde said when asked to estimate attendance.

Dugger said that during the show he drove down Civic Center Drive and found cars parked on both sides and in the center turn lane.

“Apparently that $20,000 purse for one race was a first,” Hyde said.

“I would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the Batesville Center staff for their outstanding effort and cooperation in making this event so successful,” JAM Promotions President Lanier James stated in a letter to Mayor Autrey that he shared with other city officials.

“I would be remiss if I did not also mention our participants and spectators positive comments toward the local businesses,” James continued.