After more than 15 years, only about $125,000 of a $1.7-million loan from the city has been paid back by the River Bend Golf and Recreation Society. (Advocate file photo.)

River Bend could get an extension to repay an often deferred $1.7 million loan

Council gives initial approval to defer repayments until 2022

It’s a great golfing season, but the River Bend Golf and Recreation Society could still get an extra year to make repayments on a longstanding city loan.

In 2004, River Bend was given a $1.7-million loan from the city for a clubhouse renovation/expansion project.

Council was told this week that only three payments have been made, so far. After more than 15 years, about $125,000 of the loan has been repaid, with $1.544 million still owing.

Some stated reasons for the delay are the fluctuating popularity of golf, the recessed provincial economy, some rainy and cool summers, and past road construction.

Red Deer city council had previously ordered a financial and operational review of the River Bend Golf and Recreation Area due to fluctuating golf course usage and the outstanding loan.

But pandemic closures interrupted the review undertaken by Deloitte LLP on matters of sustainability, service provision and governance.

To allow for the study’s completion, city council opted in June to extend by a year its contract with the operator of the facility.

This week, council was also asked to extend the loan repayment term by a year, until December 2022.

Several councillors asked whether this is necessary, given the great golfing year that the pandemic created by taking so many other activities off the table.

Sarah Tittemore, general manager of community services for the city, confirmed that River Bend is having an “exceptional” golf year, but she said this follows significant challenges caused for the course by the COVID-19 lockdown last spring.

It’s yet to be known whether higher golf revenues collected later in the summer will fully mitigate a slow start to the season, she said.

Council heard that the loan repayment extension goes along with the one-year extension given for the financial and operational review of River Bend.

All but Coun. Buck Buchanan eventually gave first reading to the extension to the loan repayment terms. Final approval will be discussed by council on Nov. 9.

Public comments will be accepted by the city until that date.

Red Deer City Council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees were back on the job Tuesday after a province-wide wildcat strike on Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital workers back on the job

Red Deer hospital was one of 45 sites with picket lines

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre could be affected by cuts to Alberta Health Services announced by the government Tuesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
David Marsden: Yes, we know how to do laundry

Union leaders would have us believe there’s something special about their members:… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2019, file photo, members of South Korean K-pop group TWICE pose for photos on the red carpet at the Seoul Music Awards at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. TWICE, a popular K-pop group known for its catchy lyrics and colorful aesthetics, released its second full album, a collection that invites listeners into the band’s more daring side. “Eyes Wide Open,” released Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, has 13 songs, including the lead single “I Can’t Stop Me.” (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)
K-pop band TWICE reveals its daring side on new album

Half a decade of experience under their belt

In this video grab issued Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, by MTV, The Weeknd performs “Blinding Lights” during the MTV Video Music Awards. (MTV via AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Troy Hill (22) tips a pass in the end zone intended for Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney (11) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. The ball was caught by Rams safety Taylor Rapp, behind, for a touchback. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis )
Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Rams dominate matchup of tough defences, beat Bears 24-10

Most Read