LEWISTON — A change in majority ownership at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee and at Firland Management is just what the company needs to guarantee the facility’s future, owner Jim Cain said Friday.

Cain was at a special Friday night meeting as city councilors ratified adding Portland hockey figure Ron Cain as a majority investor at the Colisee.

“The intent, as I understand it, is to help the company, both from a financial standpoint and to try to attract additional activities to the Colisee, given Ron Cain’s extensive background,” City Administrator Ed Barrett said. “It does not change another part of the overall agreement.”

Ron Cain, no relation to Firland Management Inc. owner Jim Cain, owns a stake in the American Hockey League team, the Portland Pirates, and is the primary owner of the Maine Hockey Group, which operates the Junior Pirates. Ron Cain also owns a hockey facility in Saco.

Firland took over ownership of the Colisee in 2008, agreeing to pay $1.2 million in 15 payments. Under the terms of the original agreement, Cain’s first mortgage payment to the city is due in July.

Firland’s annual payments are $50,000 per year, beginning in 2013, and $100,000 per year from 2023 through 2028.

The new ownership and renegotiated mortgage lets Firland speed up the mortgage term. According to the new contract, Firland will pay the standard mortgage, as well as additional payments, once the ice arena shows a $200,000 net operating income for three consecutive years.

If that happens, Firland will pay the the city one-quarter of the net operating income over $200,000. If the net operating income exceeds $250,000, Firland will pay the city half of the amount above $250,000.

Those additional payments will be applied to the end of the loan, shortening it considerably.

“It’s what needed to happen to move the Colisee forward,” Jim Cain said.

Firland also agrees to create a $350,000 capital improvement and facility maintenance fund.

Since Lewiston owns the mortgage on the ice arena, the City Council has the right to approve any changes. Councilors did approve the change, but not unanimously. Councilors Donald D’Auteuil and Richard Desjardins said they preferred any payments Portland’s Ron Cain made be applied to the city’s mortgage.

“If you are selling off part of it, something should be directed to paying down that loan now,” D’Auteuil said. “I’ve heard several people say they don’t believe that we’ll ever see income over $200,000, so we’ll never get a chance to collect this any quicker. We are passing up an opportunity now to pay that debt down.”

Desjardins agreed.

“You are receiving monies for the sale, that should be used to bring down the debt,” he said. “That’s my biggest problem with this package.”

But Councilor Craig Saddlemire said he wanted to give the Colisee a better chance to survive.

“The points made are valid, but I support the motion primarily because I want to see the business succeed,” Saddlemire said. “Having a successful operation there is important for the city. We have to balance many different things in making a decision like this, and the priority is doing what we can to help, because it benefits the community at large.”

The meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but the snowstorm closed Lewiston City Hall and forced City Administrator Ed Barrett to push back the meeting by one day.

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