Mateel Exploring RREDC Loan to Pay Its Debts
UPDATE Thursday: After the RREDC and the Humboldt Area Foundation reached out, we have delved into a loan the Mateel is applying for and what that means. See here for what we learned: Explaining the Loan that Might Help Save the Mateel Community Center.
At its August 21st meeting, the Mateel Board of Directors said it may be eligible for a RREDC loan that would cover all the outstanding debts (yet, the board may also present the November Membership Meeting with a plan for selling the hall to pay off the Mateel’s debts,) gave a rundown of its successes at the High Times Reggae on the River, heard from one member about the importance of the Mateel Meal in light of the failing economy, and announced it will be hiring a new caretaker.
The Board has made headway in its debt, but is currently accruing penalties on $70,000.00 of unpaid employment taxes which may undermine their hard fiscal work this year. The Board says it must take action.
The Board announced that Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC) may extend the Mateel a loan to cover its debts. A loan would provide the Board the opportunity to “stop the hemorrhaging” caused by penalties and prevent a lien from being filed by unpaid creditors. The terms would likely be 26 years at 6% fixed interest, with no penalty for early payments. The monthly payment would be around $3,900 a month.
And in case of default, the hall and its property would go to the Humboldt Area Foundation.
When asked, board members also said they are contemplating the necessity of selling the hall to pay off their debt, and acknowledge that it must be a topic of discussion at the Annual Membership Meeting in November. Actions such as selling the hall, or taking a loan against it, require a vote of the membership.
ReggaeLater, the Board gave an update on their positive experience with Reggae under High Times management. The successes the board listed include being thanked by High Times for the opportunity, the fact that no money needed to be invested with the potential of being lost, that the event only cost the Mateel Board it’s time and effort, and that Jah Mall generated about $8,000 for the Mateel. They felt that income level could increase in future years based on what they learned this year.
While the “working backstage” environment was a welcome improvement to the stage crews, Board Member Pleasure Strange said she had received feedback from artists that they miss the unique atmosphere of the old Reggae, that performers felt they could hang out in an RV ‘at all the other shows.’
According to the Board, despite low turnout this year, High Times expressed optimistic plans for the future of Reggae. Snodgrass said High Times expressed plans to resume having the show broadcast locally again next year. According to the board, the radio broadcast could not happen this year due to the late date of entering the contracts, which didn’t leave time to negotiate permission for the broadcast from the performers this year.
The board also reported that High Times said they are interested in having an “eco-village” for non-profits at a lower cost than for-profit booths.
The board noted staffing changes at the Mateel. The current caretaker is moving on after the 3rd of September. The board will clean and paint the caretaker cabin next to the office before posting the position. Also, the Mateel’s Sponsorship Coordinator
is leaving the area has resigned.
Upcoming events at the hall include the State’s Cannabis Open House on August 30th. The workshop is directed at cannabis cultivator permit applicants who need assistance with their water rights or their Lake and Streambed Alteration Agreements, also called Fish and Wildlife’s 1600.
On October 2nd, the California Alcohol Beverage Control agency will hold training for employees of businesses who sell alcohol.
And on October 6th the Mateel will hold its annual Hoedown at the hall. There will be no outside bands. The stage may be used for a kids performance area.
And the Halloween Boogie will be held at the hall on the weekend before the 31st. The Board will coordinate with Salmon Creek School to avoid having the events conflict.
The Board will also be hosting a gathering of Mateel “founding members” on September 8th. It will be a family style gathering designed to give pioneering members of the Mateel an opportunity to give input on the history and feedback on the future of the Mateel ahead of the membership meeting.
One Mateel member was present to show board members a wire and gemstone sculpture he created in honor of the Mateel Meal. He told them, “I told you last time in a joking way, but I’m not kidding, food is good for most people.” He asked what the Mateel’s plans are for providing space for the meal to be prepared in the future. Board Member Anna Rogers said the Board is waiting for a proposal from Babette Bach or another member of the public in regard to the Meal.
For full disclosure, the sculpture artist is the partner of the reporter.