CITY COUNCIL is being asked to contribute close to $23,000 in cash and in kind to the co-op which runs Shames Mountain.
The request works out to a $15,000 grant for My Mountain Co-op and free rent for 2013 valued at $6,500 for the office space now occupied by the co-op in the city-owned Kwinitsa Station House and a tax exemption valued at $1,200 for the office space.
All together, if granted, the requests would essentially match what the city provided the co-op last year in the form of cash and office space.
But whether or not city council will decide on the co-op’s requests without first having a look at its books isn’t yet known.
At a September meeting with directors of the co-op, councillor Bruce Bidgood noted that the city had laid down one condition for future financial support of the co-op.
“What we agreed was on a year to year basis with an examination of the financial [statements],” he said of decisions for financial support.
City council discussed the tax exemption request made by the co-op earlier this week and will be making a decision on the free rent and grant requests next month as it begins deliberations on its 2013 budget.
It isn’t yet know if council will see financial statements before co-op members have a chance to at its annual general meeting which now is tentatively scheduled for late November.
My Mountain Co-op’s director responsible for finance, Curtis Billey, said a decision to release financial information before the annual general meeting hasn’t been made.
“I’m not sure yet,” said Billey about whether or not the city will have access to information prior to when the co-op’s members do at its annual general meeting.
The co-op is also awaiting final approval by the Kitimat-Stikine regional district for a tax exemption for the Shames Mountain property. It’s worth close to $4,000.
To date, the total financial support the co-op has received from the regional district includes a $100,000 grant and about $8,000 in tax exemption. From the city, the co-op has received $30,000 in grants to date and $15,400 in free rent and tax exemption.
And as part of its purchase agreement with the Shames Mountain Ski Corp., the co-op is waiting on the reduction or cancellation of two outstanding debts owed to the province of British Columbia.
Combined, the debts amount to more than $600,000 owed to the province.
The majority, more than $420,000, is owed by the Shames Mountain Ski Corp. for the repayment of a tourism development loan.
The rest is an amount owed for lease fees and has been assumed by the co-op. Some kind of resolution to both outstanding debts is inked into the purchase agreement contract for the ski facility.
“Our government continues to explore options around debt forgiveness in order to facilitate the smooth transfer of this community ski hill to a new owner,” said a statement issued by the province.