Mayor Banman’s council acts like an insurance company that takes premiums when times are good but dumps the client who makes a claim.
In the ’60s, council purchased Ledgeview for under $400,000 and leased it out to a fledgling non-profit golf society who, over the last 31 years, have built it into a provincially recognized golf course which produces nationally ranked players.
This golf community has sunk millions of its own dollars and hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours into drainage, land leveling, sod purchase/laying, sanding, maintenance, running tournaments, etc. The club has staged and run many local, provincial and national tournaments. Those efforts have brought spending visitors to our businesses and hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities.
The golf club donated $120,000 towards bringing the municipal water line up McKee Road. The city coffers have benefitted by an average of $70, 000 a year for rent and $30,000 a year for water purchases.
Now that council has caught itself in a self-inflicted bind with the Abbotsford Heat ($1.82 million after two years and eight years to go!) they are prepared to dump their long-serving lease client which is experiencing a financial shortfall at a time when all golf courses are suffering.
(Chilliwack GC is $1.4 million in the red and The Falls sold in bankruptcy.)
What message is council sending? Your volunteer efforts over the years mean nothing?
We do not value the service you have given this community? Golf is not a sport we care for or support? We are prepared to let a valuable community asset go? When times are tough we only support and subsidize the big fish?
Instead of dumping the client, the council should work with the club to ensure that this local gem endures these tough financial times.
Golf will rebound with the economy and so will Ledgeview. Let’s support them in continuing their efforts.