Repayment of theatre loan under scrutiny

Gore District Council deputy mayor Cliff Bolger.
Gore District Council deputy mayor Cliff Bolger.

A report looking at the future status of a $250,000 loan given to the St James Theatre Trust by the Gore District Council has been given a four-month extension.

The loan was approved in 2008 as part of a $2.9-million refurbishment to the theatre and for the construction of the fly tower.

The council had borrowed the money in order to lend it to the trust, but had since repaid the loan. The working party was looking at different options for repaying the $250,000 loan.

Discussions were held at a council meeting on September 17, but no resolution was reached and it was "informally agreed" that further investigation was required before decisions could be made.

At Tuesday night's council meeting, a recommendation was made to extend the due date of the report to July 31.

A council working party, set up to look into the loan, had only just had its first meeting. Gore District Council Deputy Mayor Cliff Bolger said it had been a productive meeting.

Councillors Douglas Grant and Graham Sharp said the issue had been dragging on for a long time and it needed to be resolved.

Councillors and the chief executive will continue to work with the trust.

The trust was made up of representatives from the Gore Operatic Society, Lions, Rotary and Gore District Council.

Gore and District St James Theatre Trust's purpose was to preserve and maintain the theatre for Gore and the surrounding district.


The Southland Times