Salt Lake County officials have reportedly threatened to cancel the Utah GOP's contract to rent the South Towne Expo center on Saturday for their convention because the party still owes about $13,000 on their contract to rent the facility this year.
Alyson Heyrend, the spokesperson for Salt Lake County which oversees the South Towne Center, tells UtahPolicy.com that the party put down a deposit to reserve the facility for Saturday's convention. However, the balance on the contract was due this week. As of this article's publication, the money still hasn't been paid.
"It's a contractual arrangement, the same kind we do with every group that signs up," said Heyrend. "The policies are the same. There's a timeline when you're supposed to complete the transaction."
Party Chair James Evans says there's absolutely no problem with the arrangement as they plan to give the County a cashier's check on Thursday to pay for their convention.
"The convention will be paid for in full when we move in," said Evans. "We will give them a cashier's check on Thursday which meets the terms of the contract."
Evans tells UtahPolicy.com that the party is committed to not taking on more debt while working to pay down existing liabilities.
"Everything we do is paid for in full. We handled our election night party and legislative breakfast the same way."
It may not be as rosy as Evans wants you to believe. Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that Salt Lake County officials threatened to cancel the contract with the Utah GOP for non-payment, which would have been disastrous for the state convention on Saturday.
Heyrend is hopeful that Republicans follow through on their vow to pay the outstanding balance on Thursday before the convention begins.
"We don't like to take the drastic step of locking them out of the facility," said Heyrend. "For all we know, the check is in the mail."
This is just the latest controversy to hit the party over finances. The Salt Lake Tribune's Robert Gehrke recently ran down a litany list of debts the party is dealing with, including $13,000 they still owe for audio/visual services from last year's convention.