City council is moving forward with an agreement to grant Central Alberta Theatre an extended period of time to pay back a loan.
The outstanding loan, in the amount of $30,764.93, will be renegotiated with a new term that would extend the repayment period from four to seven years and cut the interest rate from 5.33% to 2.9%.
Last July, the City received a letter from CAT requesting the forgiveness of their outstanding loan in the amount of $30,765. According to council agenda notes, administration has worked with the group to obtain and analyze relevant information including their financial statements, current budget and five-year solvency plan.
“Financial Services is cognizant of the requirements of CAT’s Notice of Proposal to their other creditors, and is attempting to strike a balance between supporting CAT in their efforts to rebuild their financial future and protecting the City’s interests regarding the loan outstanding.
“Financial Services believes that both objectives can be achieved based on CAT’s level of dedication thus far in this matter.”
Mayor Tara Veer told council this change to their initial agreement was in line with what they’ve done with other organizations in the past.
Councillor Paul Harris also said it was important to acknowledge the long-term service that CAT has provided to the community. “Even though they’ve been through a hiccup, they still have the tenacity to keep going.”
Council agreed to the new terms of the loan, and gave the proposal first reading. Councillor Buck Buchanan voted against the motion, and Councillor Dianne Wyntjes was absent for the meeting.
Second and third readings are expected to take place March 17.
Paolo Mancuso, president of CAT, said the changed time period for repayment has made a big difference for the organization.
“It makes things a lot smoother, let’s put it that way. I was very optimistic that we were going to be able to get a very workable plan with the City of Red Deer, and I’m proud of council for standing up and acknowledging the work that CAT has done, and for the leadership that CAT has shown in the community,” he said.
Mancuso said the Memorial Centre is already booking more shows then staff had booked in the previous fiscal year. “In 2012/13, we had let that facility out for 125 days. We’ve already met that, and we still have four more months so that’s a really good sign.”