Archive for Monday, April 17, 2017

Lawrence City Commission to consider request from Community Shelter to forgive its loan

Lawrence Community Shelter, 3655 E. 25th St.

Lawrence Community Shelter, 3655 E. 25th St.

April 17, 2017


At its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will review a request from the local homeless shelter to forgive a portion of its $725,000 loan.

Following a meeting and correspondence with city staff, the Lawrence Community Shelter is requesting that the city forgive 1/11 of the remaining balance of the loan each year for the remainder of the loan. The request would amount to a $287,211 decrease in the amount the shelter paid back to the city.

Originally, the city received a request from the shelter to forgive the remainder of its loan, which would have amounted to about $462,000.

If approved by the commission, the annual amount of loan forgiveness would be $23,148. Because decisions made by the current commission cannot bind future commissions, the shelter would have to make the loan forgiveness request each year.

The shelter requested the loan from the city in 2013 to pay off a construction loan the shelter owed its bank, according to a city staff memo to the commission. Because the city was able to provide a lower interest rate, it allowed the shelter to save money on its expenses. Part of the city’s loan also paid for repairs to the shelter’s roof.

Funding for the shelter has come up previously. In 2015, the shelter made emergency funding requests to the City Commission and the Douglas County Commission. The city and county provided a total of $100,000 in emergency assistance. As part of that agreement, the shelter was to come up with a strategic, long-range funding plan.

City staff are recommending the commission amend the 2013 loan agreement with the Lawrence Community Shelter to reflect the reduced payment. The forgiven portion of the loan would be in addition to the approximately $200,000 allocated for the shelter in the city's 2017 budget.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.


Steve Jacob 1 year, 2 months ago

2013..."Corliss, though, said he thinks Lawrence Community Shelter is in a good position to repay the loan.

"This request isn't being made out of any weakness on the part of the shelter," Corliss said. "They have strong support in the community. They are just wanting to take advantage of the city's relatively low cost of money."

RJ Johnson 1 year, 2 months ago

They either pay it back or the City forecloses on it!

David Reynolds 1 year, 2 months ago

Where is the stewardship of our money? Why isn't there oversite and accountability from city hall for someone owing the city $3/4 of a million?

Why isn't there someone from city hall on the shelter board over seeing the shelter's income & expenditures to ensure the city is repaid?

If I remember correctly the city loaned the money and did not take any security, even though it was urged to do so. If the city is going to play the roll of a bank, then at least honor the tax payers by using banking lending rules to protect tax payer money.

The rules/guidelines used to run the shelter need to be reviewed to ensure expenditures, income & debt oblligstions are fully met.

The city needs to immediately appoint a conservator to oversee the operations of the shelter until all debt obligations of the city are fully met.

David Holroyd 1 year, 2 months ago

And to think that the City commission, Amyx, Soden, Boley, Herbert and Larsen, cannot fix the Masoleum but will forgive the loan to the shelter..

and you Rosemary worry about my not paying taxes...Maybe the city would forgive their portion of my taxes..the burden would be lighter.

Mr. Reynolds,,,it would seem that a conservator be appointed to replace the city commission as they continually make the same bad financial decisions that the shelter is doing...And just who is on the Board of the Shelter? Surely not local potentates ?

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