Shortage of dollars from developers behind delay on Aldergrove recreation complex

Langley Township was short $45 million in expected "service contributions and development cost charges."

Editor: On July 25, 2013, The Times reported the approved Aldergrove recreation center would cost over $50 million. Just three short months earlier, council had approved a budget of $35 million. No explanation for this sharp increase of $15 million has been provided.

An increase of $15 million from the “budget envelope” provided only three months earlier leads to lots of questions. Statements were made that suggested “shovels would be in the ground by early 2015.” So why has little or nothing been said since the July, 2013 announcement?

In the 2013 annual financial statement released in June of this year, the Township reported that revenues were more than $35 million lower than expected. Since this expected “surplus” did not materialize, the Township will not have the funds to complete the recreation centre without a serious upswing in revenue or dramatic cuts in expenses.

How could the Township be so far off on their expectations?  The reasons lie in the details of the financial report.

“Local area service contributions, contributions from development cost charges and other income” came in a total of $45 million lower than expected.  Small gains in other items made up for $10 million, for a total  net shortfall of $35 million.

So who provides “local area service contributions” and “contributions from development cost charges?”  You guessed it — developers.

Because the Township depends so heavily on the monies raised through development cost charges, it is motivated to approve developments that may not be in the best interest of the various Langley Township communities, or of residents.

For the last few years at least,  the shortfall has been growing.  Despite approving almost all of the proposed developments that come forward, the Township still cannot acquire the funds necessary to provide the services and infrastructure needed in our communities.  The Township’s path to financial freedom was to be unbridled development.  It hasn’t worked.

What does this mean for the Township?  Can the path to financial freedom be unbridled development, or do we need to revisit the whole approach? Clearly approving everything hasn’t worked. What can you do?

Citizens need to question the council’s financial planning assumptions. They need to ask incumbent councillors why they keep approving every development, and ask where the funding is for projects such as the Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

These projects will continue to be delayed, because there is no money to pay for them.

Kevin Mitchell,


Just Posted

VIDEO: G-Men seek revenge Saturday night in rematch at Langley Events Centre

Portland’s Winterhawks downed the Vancouver Giants 5-3 during a road trip down south.

UPDATE: Abbotsford murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Man who sexually assaulted teen in Abbotsford is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

LETTER: Retired firefighter defends union’s election involvement

In rebuttal to another letter writer’s stance on firefighter involvement in municipal politics.

Nominations wanted for Langley moms in need

The Mama Coach launched the 2nd annual Christmas for Mamas Giveback campaign.

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Pedestrian rushed to Lower Mainland hospital after being hit by car

Friday night crash is latest in rash of collisions involving pedestrians in Surrey

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read