City approves desperately needed funding for CAT

Red Deer City council has provided desperately needed funding for Central Alberta Theatre to enable them to move forward in the process of acquiring the old Uptown Theatre building.

City council approved a total of $75,000 in funding — $35,000 in the form of a grant, which will be taken out of the Downtown Reserve and $40,000 in the form of a loan, which will be taken out of the Tax Stabilization Reserve.

The loan will have to be paid back to the City over a four-year period.

“This is great news for Central Alberta Theatre,” said William Trefry, executive director of CAT. “It means we’ll be able to get our project back on track.”

Last month, CAT had an unexpected setback in their plans after it was discovered a fire suppression system was needed throughout the entire building to bring it up to code. The cost to do this is $125,000.

This increase in cost equated to about 25% of the overall cost of the renovation.

“We were prepared to finance the cost of this project upfront, and then invite corporate and individuals to partner with Central Alberta Theatre to bring the overall cost down,” said Trefry. “However, with this setback we are not in the position to fully finance the complete cost of the project at the beginning. Therefore, we must look at sponsors to actually get the project back on track if we are to move forward with our plans to take over the building.”

The landowner extended its offer to lease with the CAT organization and agreed to not entertain offers on the space until Nov. 2, giving CAT an opportunity to come up with the funding that was needed.

“I’m in full support of this recommendation,” said Councillor Cindy Jefferies. “It fits within the GDAP (Greater Downtown Action Plan) and it’s important to have positive activity in our downtown and this would create that activity.”

Councillor Tara Veer said although she was supportive of the recommendation, she had concerns about how the City chooses which organizations receive help in terms of funding.

“We’ve have had other organizations come forward with requests and sometimes we approve them and sometimes we don’t,” she said. “I would like to look at developing a policy on how these approvals take place.”

City council voted in favour of giving $75,000 in funding to CAT. Councillor Chris Stephan voted against the motion.

Council also voted in favour of directing City administration to develop a policy framework to outline how and when capital grants and/or loans to community organizations will be considered.

This report is expected to come back to council by June 30, 2011.

In addition, construction on the old Uptown Theatre is expected to begin by mid-November. It is hoped the project will be complete in May 2011.

Just Posted

Red Deer rebounding, hosting AUMA convention

Hundreds of municipal officials gather in Red Deer for the AUMA

Celebrate ‘Alberta Culture Days’ here in Red Deer

Lots of family-friendly activities set for this coming weekend

On the run with Melissa Ray

Red Deer runner talks about her intense running experiences

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after truck collides with pub

RCMP are investigating the incident as an impaired driving collision

CATena offers glimpse into Central Alberta Theatre’s new season

Visitors can also check out Memorial Centre refurbishments

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Most Read