The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday voted to forgive more than $23,000 in back rent owed to its general fund by Primo Boxing, which runs a boxing club that gives teens a place to train and do homework after school.
The group has rented the building at 701 E. Haley St., which is owned by the city, for the past 18 years but has had trouble paying its rent for the past several years.
Though Primo founders Joe and Jean Pommier were able to pay all the rent owed to the city in 2010, no rent was paid in 2011 and 2012.
The city had already granted a waiver of $33,760 in past due rent and penalties and reduced the annual rent going forward by 50 percent to $10,000 per year.
In June, Primo’s Board of Directors submitted a revised proposal asking the city to waive the back rent owed and renew its lease. The group also sent a letter from The Fund for Santa Barbara saying that foundations had agreed to provide Primo $30,000 per year from 2013 to 2015 as well as support to help Primo become more sustainable.
City staff met with Primo Boxing representatives and Geoff Green, executive director of The Fund for Santa Barbara, where they agreed funding from the foundations would be dedicated to rent before other operational expenses.
“Further, it was understood and agreed that the city will not consider any further waiver of past due rents, and will immediately proceed with lease termination should rent payments not be paid in accordance with the terms of the lease,” a staff report stated.
Mayor Helene Schneider said Tuesday she was grateful for the support from the foundations that had come to Primo’s aid financially and for the infrastructure help they’ll be giving.