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Langley Township, City to help flood-damaged seniors centre

Township is donating $31,000 to cover a hefty insurance deductible
A burst pipe trashed much of the snooker room at the Langley Senior Resource Society’s centre on Monday, Jan. 15. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley Township has offered a significant financial boost to the Langley Senior Resources Society, after its centre was damaged by a burst pipe and a flood during the recent cold snap.

On Monday, Feb. 12, the Township council voted unanimously to give $31,000 from council contingency funds to help pay an insurance deductible expected to be about $50,000.

Langley City is also actively discussing putting some funds towards helping out the society, which runs a large freestanding centre as well as outreach and meal programs for seniors across Langley.

City Mayor Nathan Pachal said he couldn’t share details yet about the City’s contribution, as it was still under discussion and the annual budget has not yet passed. He said there would be an announcement on March 4.

However, LSRS executive director Kate Ludlam confirmed that she’s been assured that between the two communities, the entire deductible will be covered.

“It give us a little financial breathing room,” said a grateful Ludlam.

She said she’s also hoping that their insurance company might give them a break on the deductible due to LSRS’s non-profit status – and she could give a bit of a rebate to the City and Township.

Since the flood, the Langley Senior Resources Society has held a couple of fundraisers to help pay for the damages.

They have raised approximately $40,000 from a Drive Thru Donations day and a Valentine’s Day lunch and entertainment event that was hastily retooled into a fundraiser.

“We’re going to use part of that money to do an assessment of all our pipes,” Ludlam said, to hopefully prevent this situation from happening again.

There will also be some upgrades to facilities that were damaged, including comfort-height toilets in damaged washrooms.

In the Township, council was happy to see that the LSRS has made rapid strides in re-opening and getting the centre repaired.

The main pipe burst was above the ceiling in the snooker room. Water flooded through several areas of the building, damaging walls and floors, and requiring repairs in a washroom and other areas. Staff and volunteers managed to dam the tide with blankets to keep it out of vital areas like the kitchens.

“They’re certainly making lemonade out of lemons,” said Coun. Barb Martens.

READ ALSO: Drive Thru Donations help Langley seniors centre fix up after flood

She noted that during a recent visit at the centre, she heard that the damaged snooker tables may be salvaged and repaired, instead of having to be trashed, as was feared.

Mayor Eric Woodward noted that the Township is also still planning to move forward with an annual $15,000 contribution that goes towards membership subsidies for the society.

He took the opportunity to defend the creation of a $100,000 mayor’s contingency fund, which was a new item added to the Township’s budget this year.

Woodward said that when he was first approached about helping to fund the centre’s deductible, he could immediately say yes.

Even if the council had not voted to put forward funds out of its contingency – which Woodward said he had no doubt of – he could have done it from the mayor’s fund.

“The only reason I could do that on the spot was because of the mayors contingency,” Woodward said.

There has been some “really regrettable commentary” about the mayor’s fund, since it was announced, Woodward said.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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