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KMUD appoints interim GM, hears community center renovation update

Kingsland Community Center

Renovations on the Kingsland Community Center are projected to finish by mid-January. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Kingsland Municipal Utility District board of directors appointed former board member Mary Ann Hefner as acting interim general manager after the resignation of Anita LeBier.

Hefner spent 24 years on the board but wasn’t re-elected in the Nov. 3 election.

“I was shocked when they asked me,” Hefner said of her appointment. “I’m going to do the best I can to get us through this. We’ll eventually get somebody. We’ll have to go out and do some research for it. It’s not easy.” 

LaBier had been the district’s general manager for about a decade. Prior to that, she was KMUD’s business manager.

Hefner said LaBier decided “it was time to move on.”

Karen Oustad and Dianne Wolfington were also sworn in for places 1 and 2 on the KMUD board after they won election in November.

The board also received an update on the renovations of the Kingsland Community Center. Hefner said the projected date it will be available for rental is Jan. 22. Workers are renovating the kitchen and both bathrooms and adding a new heating and cooling system, a roof, siding, a small meeting room for 50 people, a large meeting area for 250, and a public address system. 

The renovation budget is $1.3 million. 

“It needed to be cleaned up,” Hefner said. “We own the property. We had to do something with it. It’s basically a new building. We’re hoping it’ll do our community proud. We’re hoping it’ll be something the community can be proud of and hopefully use.”

Leaders will do research on rental rates of other area facilities that offer the same services to ensure the costs are comparable, Hefner said.  

jfierro@thepicayune.com