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City renegotiating lease agreement with SPCA

The Lloydminster and District SPCA is looking for a new lease agreement with the city for their current building. Alongside the request, the shelter is looking to absolve undocumented rent payments owed to the city.

The SPCA’s current lease agreement has no formal documentation and until last winter neither the organization or city staff were aware of the terms and conditions, however, it is believed there is a $1 per year agreement in place.

The 25-year lease had a start date of November 1, 2006, and an annual rate of $7,500. The total debt from the agreement is $91,250 that the SPCA is asking to not pay considering the circumstances of financial constraints of the lease. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says the debt will need to be formally written off.

“The administration can’t simply write that off. It’ll have to come to council for a motion to clear all outstanding debt even though it hasn’t been accounted for. It’s like a debt that doesn’t exist, yet it does exist.”

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The current agreement also includes a clause allowing the SPCA to pay rent through donations. Again, there is no documentation of the clause but there may have been a possible verbal agreement made with previous city staff and SPCA board members.

Aalbers says the change in city staff led to the lack of formal documents. He says changes have been made to prevent things like this from happening.

“Changes that had already started to happen within administration brought this forward and it was identified. As the city manager said I believe they’ll be a couple more that are slowly being dealt with because the city has many different facets and pieces to it.”

In February 2018 the land of the SPCA was assessed at an annual rate of $36,000. The new agreement is being proposed for a 10-year term at a rate of $7,500 per year.

“We want to set it to a reasonable length of time. If the SPCA is able to secure the funding to build a new facility in a different location we would certainly entertain that.”

City council will revisit the lease agreement, as well as the motion to dismiss the SPCA’s outstanding debt in a future council meeting.

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