Langford isn’t going to be helping Colwood and Highlands pay their part of The Q Centre’s debt servicing costs any more.
During Monday’s meeting, Langford council was reminded that for the past 10 years the city has been paying $96,440 to Colwood and $13,172 to Highlands out of Langford’s casino revenue to cover the smaller municipalities’ portion of the debt assumed when the former Bear Mountain Arena was built.
Given the options of staying the course or ending the practice, council chose the latter.
“We felt that since we’ve been paying that for 10 years, and we have, like, $30 million worth of facilities or something here in Langford now that we paid for ourselves, we’d stop doing that,” said Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton, who also chairs the city’s parks, recreation, culture and beautification committee.
“It’s not that we’re not paying into The Q Centre anymore, we’re just not helping Colwood and Highlands cover their share anymore.”
When asked if ceasing payment was an arrangement between the municipalities, Seaton said simply, “It was just a decision that (Langford) council made.”
When asked if Colwood and Highlands knew that these payments were about to stop coming, he replied, “I guess they will now.”
Rob Martin, board chair for the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society and a Colwood city councillor, says the decision caught him off guard, but it’s nothing they won’t be able to deal with.
“In 2003 (Colwood) just didn’t have the borrowing capacity to take on the debt required to construct The Q Centre, so Langford stepped up at the time, and I guess they’re done with that. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of making sure that everyone feels they are being treated properly, so we’ll just have to continue to work towards that,” he said.
Martin says the decision won’t have any effect on West Shore Parks and Recreation or the operation of The Q Centre.
“We’re happy with the way things are going with the Grizzlies and Shamrocks and all the other groups that use it, as well as the entertainment it can host as a venue, and none of that is going to change any time soon.”