Langley Township is open to covering more Cruise-In policing costs than Langley City, according to Township Mayor Jack Froese.
After a preliminary meeting with the organizers of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In car show on Thursday, Froese said the Township was excited at the opportunity to hold the event in Aldergrove.
Last year, the Cruise-In was almost called off because Langley City asked the Cruise-In to cover policing costs both for the Saturday of the event, and for the Friday night before it. The City agreed to cover costs for one more year and the event went on as scheduled.
As far as policing costs for an Aldergrove-based Cruise-In, “we certainly will be discussing this with the RCMP,” said Froese.
But he didn’t think the Cruise-In should be on the hook for Friday night costs.
”“In my view, that wouldn’t be a cost borne by the event organizers.”
The Cruise-In will have to go through the normal process of getting permits for road closures if it moves this year to Fraser Highway in downtown Aldergrove.
“Hopefully, we can make it work,” said Froese.
The Cruise-In will likely either move to Aldergrove or shut down this year, organizers told the Langley Advance on Thursday. Cruise-In president Wayne Patterson said a lot of organizing work will have to be done in the next 30 days to see if the event can take place, in Aldergrove, as scheduled for Sept. 9.
The news came as a surprise to Langley City officials, according to a statement released on Friday.
“The City is disappointed that the society has decided to move the Cruise-In event to Aldergrove as we have gone beyond the call of duty to provide financial and in-kind support to the society every year for the past 20 years,” City Mayor Ted Schaffer said in the statement. “While we would like to see the Cruise-In event remain in the City, we recognize that the Society has made a business decision to relocate their event, and we wish them much success.”
A November letter from Langley City to Patterson says that accommodating the annual event “have resulted in an unsustainable strain on resources, staff involvement and financial expenditures.”
They provided a list of requirements for the Cruise-In going forward, including:
• Capping a community grant to the Cruise-In at $13,000
• A $5,000 security deposit with the City, which could be used to cover any City costs incurred during the event
• The appointment of a liaison from the Cruise-In Society to the City available on Friday night and the Saturday of the Cruise-In
• If the society can’t find enough certified traffic control workers for its event area, the City would hire them and charge the society for the costs
• The Cruise-In Society to pay 25 per cent of RCMP costs for the main event and the Friday night before the Cruise-In
(Full City letter below)
Paying for police, particularly on the Friday night, has been a sore point for the Cruise-In for some time.
In many years, some car owners in town for the weekend of the Cruise-In have held impromptu “burnouts” on City streets. A heavy police presence has generally put the damper on such activities in recent years.
However, the Friday night events, whether private parties or illegal high-speed driving, were not organized or endorsed by the Cruise-In. Organizers have discouraged unsafe driving.
Patterson has objected to the idea that the Cruise-In pay for policing at all, noting that other events such as Arts Alive, which also shuts down Fraser Highway, don’t have to pick up extra policing costs.
Schaffer last year defended the decision by saying that the events drew different clienteles.
The volunteer-run Cruise-In raises money for local charities. Last year it collected $46,000 that was distributed to local groups including the Langley Hospital Auxiliary, Valley Therapeutic Riding Association, Langley Support Group’s Life After Stroke, and Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society.
April Lenke is the general manager for the riding association on 256th Street in Aldergrove.
“The contributions of caring individuals and philanthropic groups, like the Langley Good Times Cruise In Society, are vital to ensure that we can continue to provide service to disabled members of our community,” Lenke said.
“Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association provides a variety of programs which are designed to support our mission of enriching the lives and developing the full potential of children and adults with disabilities,” she explained.
“Our goal always, is to support a quest for independence and self-reliance in every rider. The benefits of Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding have been documented since the 1960s and our program is mentored by the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. Our clients experience a range of physical, emotional and neurological benefits from each therapy session. Riding develops core strength, muscle tone, and balance. Their interaction with a support team consisting of instructor and volunteers, provides a basis for increased communication and a demand for executive thinking skills for clients,” Lenke said.
“Families struggling with the on-going costs of intervention are often hard pressed to pay for all the private therapy their loved one needs. We charge riders a fee that is less than half of the actual cost to maintain our programs,” as she said, thanks to contributions from the Cruise-In.