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Grande Prairie Storm asking city for financial help

The Grande Prairie Storm is again looking for financial assistance from the city. This time it has asked for relief on this year’s rent and a loan to pay down some of the debt the team has. Business Manager Eric Hein says ticket sales, sponsorships and fundraising revenues are up, but the funding request stems from a few bad years the team has had.

“We’re on the right path, we’re making all the right decisions, reducing our expenses and we’re being creative with revenue sources as well. We’re trending in the right direction so I think the request just comes from the downturn that we experienced years ago and just clearing that up so we can move forward in the right direction and move forward to a path of sustainability.”

Back in January 2016, the team owed about $100,000 in unpaid bills and launched its “Save Our Storm” campaign aimed at bringing in donations and sponsorships. Then in June 2016, it asked the city to remove $89,000 owed in contract to Revolution Place for 10 months of the 2015-2016 year.

As it stands right now, the City’s Community Living Committee has recommended that council approve $0 rent for the 2018/2019 season and give them a $200,000 loan over five years coming from the city’s Financial Stabilization Reserve.

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Hein says that if everything is approved, the money will go back to the community to pay down some of the bills they have with local vendors and businesses.

“The funding is directly going to go to paying back our accounts that are still outstanding with local businesses in our community… It’s not being taken lightly, it’s not frivolous, it’s going directly to our local businesses and clearing up what we need to clear up and payback.”

The request will still need to go through council before anything is approved. That is expected to happen at the next council meeting on January 28th.

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