The West Shore Parks and Recreation Centre’s 2018 budget was rejected by Colwood and Langford says funds can be taken from the reserve fund, but Colwood refuses to comply. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

West Shore Parks and Rec funding formula under review

‘They need to understand we are doing our part’ says Langford Mayor Stew Young

After coming under fire in a release from the City of Colwood regarding West Shore Parks and Recreation’s municipal contributions, Langford Mayor Stew Young said he was confused as to why the release was written in the first place.

He noted Langford has historically paid the lion’s share to build sport and recreation facilities on the West Shore and the City has built seven facilities in Langford in the last seven years.

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

But West Shore Parks and Recreation’s funding has been a controversial topic in the past.

All five West Shore municipalities agreed to have Johnathon Huggett perform a review of the way the municipal requisitions are allocated, Young said, and they are hoping to have that information within the next few months.

He added that he’s willing to live with whatever results that report provides, but he questioned why West Shore Parks and Recreation requires municipal requisitions of nearly $5 million when Langford can operate all of its facilities for a fraction of that.

According to the proposed 2018 operating budget, Langford will contribute more than $2.5 million, Colwood more than $1.1 million, View Royal with nearly $726,000, Metchosin roughly $422,000 and Highlands with a little more than $177,000.

While he doesn’t agree with Cowlood council, Young said he believes Colwood residents understand and appreciate the contribution Langford has made to recreation facilities in the West Shore.

“We know the importance of recreation, my council supports it,” Young said, adding the Colwood release is disrespectful to Langford taxpayers.

Les Bjola, Langford’s citizen representative on the West Shore Parks and Recreation board of directors, noted the release states the society’s reserve funds are restricted to capital, but that’s not accurate.

The reserve fund has more than $2.1 million in it and Young said those funds should be used until a more equitable way of dividing requisition money is reached.

He noted there is still money sitting in that fund from more than a decade ago, that was at the time, allocated for repairs to the Juan de Fuca Arena.

In the release, Colwood called for all municipalities to contribute more funds now.

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