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Personal loan cuts history book bill in half

LAWRENCE GLEASON, GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR

One of the four principals in creating the second volume of Claresholm history book Where the Wheatlands Meet the Range has tossed in $4,000 of his own money to help pay off the printing bill.
Doug Leeds made that presentation at the June 20 meeting at the MD of Willow Creek office.
That takes the amount owing on the MD of Willow Creek loan to $4,500 from $8,500.
Coun. Glen Alm has provided $1,000 out of his discretionary funding.
Alm has pledged to direct $1,000 from his discretionary account each year of his four-year term of office, which would likely be approved by a council vote each year.
That will bring the loan on the history book printing bill down to $500 by 2020 even if no books are sold.
The books remain available for sale.
“It is not good that we have to accept a personal cheque from one individual on this project, but thank you,” Alm said.
“Thank you, that is very generous,” Reeve Maryanne Sandberg told Leeds.
Some of the venues selling the book include The Claresholm Local Press, the Claresholm Library, two drug stores, the Town of Claresholm office, the MD of Willow Creek office, and the Claresholm and District Museum, where they have been sold for eight years.
The publishing cost of the history book was almost $120,000.
The choice at the time the book was created was to print 1,500 books or 2,000, with the choice made to take advantage of a printing discount for volume, and there was a print run of 2,000 books.
“At 1,500 books we had to sell 1,300 to break even,” Leeds said. “With 2,000 books we had to sell 1,400 to break even.”
Leeds said that deal did help keep the cost down for each book.
Macleod Credit Union carried the group’s bill for about six months while the group got busy and sold enough books to whittle the bill down to $40,000.
At that point they went to the Town of Claresholm and the MD of Willow Creek, asking each to take over the loan for $20,000 each, which they did.
“It is not a grant, it’s a loan, and the bill is being paid off,” Leeds said.
The price of the book has been reduced to $65 from $75, and Claresholm and area residents are encouraged to purchase a copy.

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