Colwood is putting the other owners of West Shore Parks and Recreation on notice after rejecting the society’s 2018 budget. (Gazette file photo)

Colwood is putting the other owners of West Shore Parks and Recreation on notice after rejecting the society’s 2018 budget. (Gazette file photo)

Colwood predicts downfall of West Shore Parks and Rec unless changes made now

Council rejects West Shore Parks and Rec 2018 budget, stating more funding needed

The City of Colwood has voted to reject the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society’s proposed 2018 budget.

“Colwood is fighting for West Shore Parks and Recreation’s survival by advocating for a sustainable financial plan,” said Mayor Carol Hamilton in a statement. “We risk losing West Shore Parks and Recreation if owner municipalities act in their own interests rather than honouring their contractual obligations.”

Council voted to not approve the deficit budget and in a release stated that deficit was caused by the City of Langford rejecting the 2017 budget.

READ MORE: Langford pulls rank in West Shore Parks and Rec budget talks

“Langford has refused to approve the funding requests needed to maintain West Shore Parks and Recreation service levels for their residents,” reads the release. “Langford rejected the 2017 budget on the grounds that their contributions should be reduced because they have invested elsewhere. Langford did not offer to involve West Shore Parks and Recreation in the establishment of other facilities, nor have they proposed any cost sharing agreement related to those facilities for West Shore Parks and Recreation owner municipalities to consider. As a result, West Shore Parks and Recreation has been underfunded, and has had no choice but to propose a deficit budget for 2018 that depletes the organization’s reserves by more than $225,000. This is not a sustainable financial plan.”

West Shore Parks and Recreation is jointly owned and operated by all five West Shore municipalities. The society’s owners’ agreement dictates a governance model and cost distribution formula. That formula takes into account population size and assessment values.

In the past, Langford council has noted its objection to the funding formula and governance model, stating it is unfair as Langford provides a number of recreation facilities that are not operated through West Shore Parks and Recreation but are open to the public.

In 2016, Langford approved the budget but put the society on notice that it would not support other budgets moving forward unless there was “meaningful change” to governance that saw a redistribution of costs amongst the owners and a reduction in Langford’s share.

RELATED: West Shore Parks and Recreation braces for revenue shortfalls

“Sports tourism facilities serve a different market,” Hamilton noted in the same statement. “West Shore Parks and Recreation is where parents and toddlers bond at preschool programs, where friendships are forged on the playing field or the ice rink, where seniors come to socialize and stay active, where generations play and learn together. It is a vital part of the fabric of our community.”

West Shore Parks and Recreation’s operating agreement requires unanimous budget approval by owner municipalities. If any owner rejects the proposed budget, the society is forced to work from the previous year’s budget.

Langford council approved the 2018 budget last month.

If West Shore Parks and Recreation continues to operate with a deficit, the release noted it will likely mean service cuts and could eventually force the shutdown of the society within five years.

According to the City of Colwood, in order to recover from this deficit, the 2019 budget would need an increase of more than six per cent from taxpayers, just to return to previously funded levels. Colwood’s draft 2018 financial plan allocates a larger increase than what was requested by West Shore Parks and Recreation.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

City of Colwood,West Shore Parks and Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read