The longstanding loan for capital improvements to a City-owned asset was repealed today, with City Council giving second and third reading to repeal the River Bend Loan Bylaw.
The River Bend Recreation Site is City-owned and is operated by a third party not-for-profit operator (River Bend Golf and Recreation Society). In 2007, Council approved a loan bylaw to the RBGRS for them to upgrade the City-owned clubhouse. The original loan amount was $1.7 million, and with one payment made, the balance has remained at $1,544,519 for the past 16 years.
“From a financial perspective, this loan arrangement was out of step with our typical practice, as we don't ask our operators to pay for capital upgrades to City-owned infrastructure,” said Ray MacIntosh, Chief Financial Officer. “This loan was essentially given by The City, for The City, and does not appear on our books as an outstanding loan.”
“With this loan forgiven, the board has indicated renewed ability to continue to invest in the improvement of the River Bend Recreation Area, benefiting everyone who accesses the site in all four seasons,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent.
The City and the RBGRS are currently in negotiations to renew the operating agreement that has been in place since 2017. Last year, the River Bend Master Plan was adopted and will continue to serve as a guiding document for The City and society.