Commissioners pass Expo-related measures

·4 min read

Aug. 23—Pittsburg County commissioners moved forward on assuming operations of the Expo Center in McAlester, passing three related measures during their regular Monday meeting.

Measures passed included a fee schedule for those wanting to rent the building.

They also passed what commissioners called a temporary rental agreement form and approved a contract for testing and inspection of the fire alarm system and sprinkler system at the Expo.

Commissioners said they needed to approve the fee schedule and rental form so they can start renting the facility for activities. District 2 Commissioner Kevin Smith commissioners checked with similar facilities in the state when putting together the rental agreement.

"We called places like Ada and Shawnee," Smith said. He said the rental form includes rules and regulations for those renting the Expo Center.

Commissioners said they've been working on repairs or upgrades to the facility.

"It's a slow process," said Smith. A couple of smaller events are scheduled at the facility in the coming days, he said.

County commissioners took over operations of the Expo Center after the city met an Aug. 15 deadline the commissioners gave the city of McAlester to vacate the premises.

The city left the building in the wake of a letter commissioners sent to city officials in June. In the letter, commissioners informed the city they were terminating a 2001 contract between the county and the city that had leased the Expo Center and some adjoining property to the city of McAlester for 30 years at the cost of $1.

When the city left the Expo Center, city officials said they were taking everything that wasn't permanently attached to the building.

That left the commissioners with a mostly vacant building, including no tables or chairs.

"We've ordered tables and chairs," Smith said Monday, saying he's already placed an order with Oklahoma Correctional Industries. However, OCI is not currently manufacturing more tables and chairs at this time, he said. Commissioners are also finding that tables and chairs in large quantities are currently in short supply through some commercial suppliers.

"We can't find very many in supply," Smith said.

Commission Chairman/District 3 Commissioner Ross Selman said the county can borrow some tables and chairs from the Pittsburg County Offiice of Emergency Management if needed. Smith said some of the fire departments have also offered to let the commissioners borrow some of their chairs and tables,

Selman and Smith joined with District 1 Commissioner Charlie Rogers in unanimously passing all the Expo-related measures.

A $500 deposit is required to rent the entire Expo Center, with a $100 deposit for downstairs rooms 101 and 103. A $50 deposit is required for upstairs rooms and the mezzanine.

Rental rates are as follows:

—Entire building, 80,000 square feet — It will cost $2,500 to rent the entire Expo Center for the first day and $2,000 for any subsequent days. It also includes a $200 setup charge and $500 for dirt installation and removal, which has been used for events such as rodeos.

—Expo Hall, 50,000 square feet — Cost is $1,500 for the first day and $1,000 for subsequent days thereafter. Setup cost is $150, with $500 for dirt installation and removal.

—Room 103, which is 10,875 square feet — Rent is $100 per hour, with a three-hour minimum. A daily rate of eight hours is available for $500. Any additional hours beyond eight hours will be assessed a $75 daily rate. Setup, with tables and chairs only is $50.

—Room 101, which is 3,750 square feet — Cost for rental is $50 per hour, with a three-hour minimum. A daily rate of eight hours is available for $350. Additional hours past eight hours are available for a $35 daily rate. Setup, for tables and chairs only, is $50.

Smaller rooms are available for lesser prices, beginning at $40 per hour with a three hour minimum, and with discounts offered through an eight-hour daily rate.

An initial rental deposit is required when booking an event at the Expo Center, with 50% of the total rental rate required at the time the contract is signed. Any remaining balance is to be paid within 30 days or the first scheduled date. No event will be held, nor will the date be removed from availability, until the full deposits are made.

Included in the fee schedule is a security deposit required when booking an event at the Expo Center, considered a separate payment from the initial rental deposit and remaining balances. The agreement will call for all security deposits to be fully refunded if there is no damage to the facility or contract violations.

County commissioners also approved a contract for $1,199 with JE Systems, Inc. for the testing and inspection of the fire alarm system and the sprinkler system at the Expo Center. It's for annual inspection and testing services.

Smith said the company already does similar testing on several buildings owned by the county.

Anyone needing more information regarding rental fees or deposits, or bookings at the Expo Center, can contact the Pittsburg County commissioners office at 918-423-3877.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com/

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