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City, Bombers reach agreement to put $27k in fees owed in abeyance

Flin Flon city council has worked out a deal that would give the Flin Flon Bombers a bit of short-term financial relief.
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Flin Flon city council has worked out a deal that would give the Flin Flon Bombers a bit of short-term financial relief.

A measure was discussed by council to, with conditions, put into abeyance thousands of dollars of outstanding fees owed by the team. The measure, moved by councillor Karen MacKinnon and seconded by councillor Tim Babcock, was discussed and later carried at the March 16 meeting of Flin Flon’s city council. An agreement was later made with the Bombers and approved by council during council’s April 6 meeting.

According to City documentation, the Bombers have an outstanding account with the City of about $27,500. The measure, as brought forward, will see the City agree with the team to “forbear from taking steps to collecting the amount”.

The agreement comes with two conditions. First, if the Bombers have a season where they report at least $100,000 in profit at season’s end, the payment remaining with the account will need to be paid by the team to the City. Secondly, if the team is purchased by an outside group, the team and its new owners will need to pay the outstanding account out of the proceeds of the sale. A similar measure was approved by city council in the 1990s.

The City is not simply writing off the amount owed - Babcock said the money will be put into abeyance, needing to be paid back if either of the two conditions are met.

“The way it works is that they owe us money from two seasons ago now, because their playoffs were cut short and they didn’t get the money they were counting on from a deep playoff run. Then, they weren’t able to have a season this year, so they’re a little bit behind in their bills,” said Babcock.

“What we’re doing to help them out is we’re putting this amount into abeyance. We’re not technically writing it off but it gets put into abeyance so in the event of either of those two conditions being met, they would have to pay it back. If those conditions are never met, then it just stays there perpetually until the team’s either sold or folds.”

The $100,000 profit figure would be unusual for the team, but not impossible. According to financial information given at the Bombers’ annual general meeting last year, the team made a profit of $44,153 for the season in 2019-20, but the profit was quickly erased by expenses and deficits incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A season earlier, the team ended the season with a loss of around $3,000.

“Technically, it will stay on our books and it will stay as a line item in their books, but we’re not asking them for it and we’re not collecting it, they’re not expected to pay it back,” Babcock said.

“If they had an exceptional year and went to the championship or something like that, we would then expect them to pay us back.”