At today’s regular City Council meeting, Council gave first reading to repeal a loan bylaw to the River Bend Golf and Recreation Society.
River Bend Recreation Site is a City-owned recreation and golf amenity that is operated by a third party not-for-profit operator (River Bend Golf and Recreation Society). In 2007, Council approved Bylaw 3391-2007 that provided $1,700,000 for the purposes of clubhouse expansion in the form of a loan to the RBGRS. With one payment made to the debt recorded in 2007, the outstanding balance has remained at $1,544,519 for the past 16 years.
“This is an unusual circumstance, where this loan was provided by The City to upgrade a City-owned asset and therefore is not a financial liability for The City,” said Ray MacIntosh, Chief Financial Officer, The City of Red Deer.
The City and the RBGRS are currently in negotiations to renew the operating agreement that has been in place since 2017. The potential for loan forgiveness will impact the future financial sustainability and viability of the society.
“Last year, the River Bend Master Plan was adopted and serves a road map guiding future decisions to the recreation area. Should this loan be forgiven, we will continue on the trajectory towards building an exciting and sustainable future for this beloved community recreation and golf amenity that remains accessible to everyone,” said Sarah Tittemore, General Manager of Community Services.
Council will consider second and third reading of repealing the River Bend loan bylaw in May.