City tables pitch for CAT funding

City Council wants the Central Alberta Theatre to develop a solvency plan to deal with its debt before considering a $60,000 request for funding.

City Council wants the Central Alberta Theatre to develop a solvency plan to deal with its debt before considering a $60,000 request for funding.

At its Monday meeting city council tabled a decision on the request for another two weeks to give the cash-strapped company time to figure out its next plan of action. CAT is on the financial brink because of major cost over-runs in remodelling the City Centre Stage theatre.

“I am disappointed they didn’t give us money,” said Lawrence Hobbs, CAT’s vice-president. “I am relieved they didn’t say no. What they asked for is what we can give in the next couple weeks without too much trouble.”

Hobbs said there have been weekly board meetings to come with solutions. The board is also working with a trustee to negotiate a financial arrangement to deal with creditors.

CAT asked for the emergency funding request for operating capital to pay for operating costs at the Memorial Centre and CAT Studios for the next few months until the company’s cash flow improves. The board has also come up with a five-year plan to get back on stable ground.

The society has more than $700,000 in combined debts. They owe money to builders, the bank, its City Centre Stage landlord and a number of other creditors.

In other council news:

l City council approved the $8.6-million Great Chief Park Enhancement Concept Plan and Outdoor Speed Skating Oval Relocation — Site Assessment. A parking and environment assessment will be completed before any detailed design or construction gets started.

Some of the plan’s recommendations include a new sports field clubhouse and maintenance building, synthetic turf field, permanent beer garden, batting cage, water and sanitary service upgrading and parking lot upgrades, as well as expansions.