Ball carrier Jen Kish of Canada drives through a Spanish defender during play in the World Rugby Canada Women’s Sevens tournament at Westhills Stadium in Langford last April. World Rugby has stated that the turf

Ball carrier Jen Kish of Canada drives through a Spanish defender during play in the World Rugby Canada Women’s Sevens tournament at Westhills Stadium in Langford last April. World Rugby has stated that the turf

Recreation projects highlighted in Langford parks budget

Westhills Stadium turf replacement among capital projects targeted in 2017 budget

Recreation has been an area of focus for the City of Langford for some time, but staff members are trying to keep those projects to a manageable budget for taxpayers.

With the artificial turf in Westhills Stadium 10 years old as of next year, World Rugby has notified the City that the existing turf will not pass certification by the time the next testing is done in 2018. The replacement project, which includes general repairs to the northwest corner of the stadium by the pond, is estimated to cost $700,000.

“We need to look at it,” said parks manager Mike Leskiw. While the sand and rubber materials under the turf in the infield will be reused, he noted the old carpet will be recycled into other products. “It’s a good process.”

At their Dec. 12 meeting, council approved in principal a list of parks capital projects between 2017 and 2021 and referred that list to the City’s director of finance for inclusion in the 2017 budget. In total, there are 33 projects identified in that budget. Besides the turf replacement, the completion of the new Rugby Canada Fitness Centre and improvements to Langford Lake are on the list.

“It’s a basic budget,” said Leskiw, adding the department is trying to keep costs to a minimum. “It’s so preliminary; we won’t know until next year (which projects are approved).”

A staff report reminded council that the projects were not listed in priority order and several require additional funding from other sources. Staff added that many of the projects are driven by development and are completed by the developer while working with the City.

Leskiw expanded on that, noting a number of the projects have their entire budget listed, not just Langford’s portion, for those that have funding coming from other sources. The new Rugby Canada Fitness Centre is an example of that.

The completion of the new centre – scheduled for next fall – is budgeted at more than $5.8 million.

But as Leskiw explained, that is the remaining cost for the entire project and not just Langford’s share.

While it’s difficult to guess what projects will move forward, Leskiw said council and staff have been consistently working on projects that aim to increase Langford residents’ enjoyment of the city. “Everything in the budget is positive,” he added.

Council will review the budget in its entirety in the new year before considering it for approval.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com