Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 11:35 pm | Fair 56º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Primo Boxing Club Asking City Council to Forgive $23,000 in Back Rent

City of Santa Barbara already has granted a waiver of $33,760 to the nonprofit, which provides a place for teens to train and do homework after school

The Santa Barbara City Council will be asked Tuesday to forgive more than $23,000 in back rent owed to its general fund by a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping at-risk youths.

Primo Boxing, which runs a boxing club that gives teens a place to train and do homework after school, is asking the city to forgive the amount it owes for renting an old fire station owned by the city at 701 E. Haley St.

The group has rented the building from the city for the past 18 years, but fell on hard times in 2009 when its primary fundraiser was disbanded, and 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 rent due to the city also complicated the financial picture. Jean Pommier said the city raised rent rates but didn’t enforce the hikes, so the pair got a large bill all at once.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we can’t pay this,’” she told Noozhawk last year.

The city already has 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, “on the expectation that the nonprofit would improve their financial ability and meet their financial obligations,” according to a city staff report.

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.

The council can also vote to extend the lease for two more years.

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,” the staff report stated.

Jean Pommier told Noozhawk on Monday that the group is excited to have worked out a deal with the city, and Primo’s financial situation looks much better because of foundation funding and a new board that will help with fundraising.

“We are really excited about the direction we are going in, and believe for the first time in years we have a chance to be sustainable,” she said.

Tuesday’s council meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >