Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury’s (LPPJ) Public Property & Buildings Committee saw an active discussion about Lincoln Hall, an 84 hundred square foot banquet hall located adjacent to the North Louisiana Exhibition Center on Hwy 33.
The committee deferred action on a request by the operator/leaseholder of the facility – Burton Entertainment, Inc. – to buy out the lease on the facility for $250 thousand. Burton is relocating and says he won’t be able to operate the facility any longer.
In 2002, Burton signed a thirty year lease whereby in exchange for use of the parish-owned land, Burton would construct and operate the hall as a venue for weddings, receptions, meetings, reunions, and other such group events. The facility has a commercial kitchen for meal preparation.
See here the lease document.
During the discussion, it was noted that the jury has actual “ownership” of the building, as it was constructed on jury property. Operation and maintenance is the responsibility of Burton, according to the lease.
Several jurors noted that the parish doesn’t have the expertise or the personnel to operate the hall.
Exhibition Center Commissioner Angela Manning said, “I would have to have some help. If we had an event going on at the Expo, I would need extra employees on staff.”
District Three’s Bobby Bennett suggested that the facility be subleased, which could be done according to the terms of the contract.
The committee agreed to revisit the issue at a future meeting.
In other business, the full jury awarded tax breaks to two local companies that are planning expansions.
District Four’s Randy Roberson voted no, saying that he wanted to be “very careful and very respectful of ALL the taxpayers of Lincoln Parish.” Many taxpayers and businesses have no special breaks, it was noted.