In 2004, council authorised a request for a $1.7 million mortgage by the Society for a clubhouse renovation and growth undertaking, to be repaid in annual increments of $140,000 over a 20 12 months interval. Council authorised the mortgage bylaw in 2007.
As of at the moment, just one fee has been made, with the excellent stability remaining at $1,544,519.
READ: In-Depth: Why hasn’t River Bend’s $1.7 million mortgage been repaid to the Metropolis in 20 years?
“For future funds, one of the best predictors are previous performances. With a single fee during the last 16 years, the expectations are not possible on a full reimbursement on the mortgage,” stated Ray MacIntosh, town’s Chief Monetary Officer.
“That is an uncommon circumstance, the place this mortgage was offered by the Metropolis to improve a Metropolis-owned asset and due to this fact just isn’t a monetary legal responsibility for the Metropolis.”
Councillor Vesna Higham in contrast the state of affairs to a landlord asking a tenant to pay for fixing the roof of a property.
On the time, a metropolis archive states the Society and Metropolis claimed they have been “assured” the mortgage could be repaid in full and on time.
Sarah Tittemore, Common Supervisor of Group Providers for town, stated that whereas it’s troublesome to ask these council members why this mortgage was given within the first place, RBGRS has confronted numerous obstacles since, together with street development making entry to River Bend troublesome for residents and points within the Working Settlement, that brought on council to proceed to defer the mortgage funds.
“That is the primary time that the River Bend Society has requested us to think about forgiving the mortgage formally,” she stated.
In 2020, town employed Deloitte to conduct an evaluation. They really useful that RBGRS’s monetary sustainability would solely be achieved if the Metropolis forgave the excellent mortgage as they may not afford to each repay the mortgage below the present necessities and spend money on golf capital.
Nonetheless, the pandemic brought on an uptick in golf among the many public, rising revenues at River Bend.
The Metropolis and RBGRS say they haven’t recognized new or elevated sources of income that will enable mortgage funds. As effectively, the Fee for Service, Licence Charges and Revenue Sharing haven’t been utilized by the Metropolis as an avenue for mortgage funds, they are saying.
The Metropolis says the Society can be required to pay annual taxes to the Metropolis outdoors the settlement and paid $79,362.84 in 2022.
When requested if the golf course might be sustainable by itself, as different non-public golf programs within the metropolis, Tittemore stated she couldn’t reply because the Metropolis has positioned boundaries on River Bend to make it inexpensive for the general public as a municipal amenity.
The Metropolis says the mortgage doesn’t seem of their annual monetary statements as a result of the RBGRS is a managed and consolidated entity by town and, due to this fact, it’s as in the event that they offered a mortgage, curiosity free, to themselves.
That is additionally the rationale why MacIntosh says he has confidence that different organizations will repay their loans to town as they’ve extra freedom to manage their very own charges and operations. Some excellent loans are at present with the Humane Society and the Westerner Exposition Affiliation.
READ: Crimson Deer metropolis council helps Westerner Exposition Affiliation in direction of monetary sustainability
The Metropolis and the RBGRS are at present in negotiations to resume the working settlement from 2017 by the top of the 12 months, with modifications.
With the River Bend Golf and Recreation Space Grasp Plan proposing over $5 million in renovations to the golf space, Tittemore says the funds will go in direction of sustaining the irrigation system and bettering playability for girls and youth, who’re more and more within the sport.
Council will take into account second and third studying of repealing the River Bend mortgage bylaw in Could.