ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A seven-year contract between the City of Abilene and the Abilene Convention Center through ASM Global was updated Wednesday. In a City Council meeting Thursday, the changes were addressed and members of the public were invited to comment.

During the meeting, the City cited a $675,000 net income through the contract.

A transition period for current Convention Center staff to ASM will run between August 1 and September 30. During this period, management will add additional staff, if needed. Employees who wish to remain with the City of Abilene were invited, by City Manager Robert Hanna, to apply to other positions within the City.

Click here for more information, including the presentation. For the full meeting, click here.

In public comments, one Abilene man, Samuel Garcia, said he was concerned about the transfer of power for local events.

“Who makes those decisions if there’s ever a conflict between a ‘convention’ coming in,” Garcia asked, “and those local events that we’ve always enjoyed and are part of who we are as Abilenians?”

Hanna said, per the contract, the City of Abilene retains the right to identify certain events which may be provided at no cost. For example, Hanna said if ASM incurs costs for things like refreshments, the City will pay for those services. However, he said the City would be able to have fees waived for room rentals for City-sponsored events.

“If there is a local event or local entity that has a historical meeting on a regular basis there, or on an annual basis… Make sure to work with the management company and our folks to get reservations in place, we book a couple years in advance,” Hanna advised.

On the basis of long-standing events residents look forward to, Hanna said the City plans to keep events like World’s Largest BBQ and HEB’s Feast of Sharing around because of they are important to the community.