Langley Township Civic Facility. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township Civic Facility. (Langley Advance Times files)

Housing, RCMP, Fort roads all discussed at Langley Township budget meeting

A Monday meeting touched on priorities for this year and beyond

Langley Township councillors wrangled over the annual budget on Monday morning, in a priorities meeting that touched on everything from policing to libraries to cannabis sales.

The council’s budget priorities discussion, held via Zoom, was facilitated by Dr. Gordon McIntosh.

Last week, Township council heard that the overall budget had a 4.14 per cent shortfall over expected revenues, meaning that the council could either cut spending, raise fees, or increase taxes to balance the budget.

The big shortfalls caused by extra expenses and slashed revenues from closed rec centres are being partly offset this year by a $7.6 million grant in federal funding distributed through the province’s Safe Restart Agreement.

READ MORE: Borrowing, reducing new Mounties discussed to balance Langley Township’s COVID-year budget

Among the longer term projects the council touched on were a proposed Arts, Sports, and Entertainment site, and the future housing development at Horne Pit, a former gravel pit on 200th Street between the 2600 and 2800 block of 200th Street.

Horne Pit was for many years a Township gravel pit, and after that it was used for storing some heavy road items. In recent years, after the Brookswood Official Community Plan passed, the land was levelled.

Now, the site is to become a housing development. A plan is expected later this year.

The Township is expecting to hear updates this spring about the Arts, Sports, and Entertainment site, with a more complete report by this July coming to council.

The meeting also touched on the North Langley Truck Route, which is to realign truck travel paths around the village of Fort Langley. It requires multiple upgrades for various intersections and nearby roads before trucks can actually begin taking their new path.

The council and staff also briefly discussed everything from widening roads in Willoughby to the SkyTrain extension project to Langley to affordable housing policies and projects.

The morning meeting was also marked by a few sharp exchanges between Coun. Kim Richter and Coun. Bob Long, with Mayor Jack Froese attempting to calm the discussion and return to topic.

“If we have councillors who are just going to go out and snipe at other councillors for the sake of sniping, that’s not productive,” Richter said after one exchange.

There was a great deal of discussion towards the end of the meeting about whether the process of creating the budget was working, and whether staff or councillors were responsible for making specific line-item decisions.

Township administrator Mark Bakken said there was one particular idea that he disagreed with, and that was that there was fat to be cut in the budget.

“There is precious little fat in the system,” Bakken said, and noted that they ran a “lean” organization compared to many other municipalities.

The morning priorities meeting was to be followed by another budget meeting.

Budgets have to be set by early March by all municipal governments in B.C.

Before that, council will hash out final spending decisions and settle on a property tax rate for the coming year.

budgetLangleyLangley Townshipmunicipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brookswood Bobcats celebrated their B.C. championship victory at the Langley Events Centre. The Bobcats defeated Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats in the final of the B.C. high school senior girls AAA basketball championships in 2016. Past championship games are being replayed this month online by LEC. (File)
Langley Events Centre takes a look back at some classic basketball championship games

Matchups from past years will be rebroadcast online for free

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 80+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

By formally adopting one or more of the new arrivals at Langley’s Critter Care wildlife refuge, donors will receive a tax receipt for their charitable donation, and an certificate which contains a photo of their orphan (Critter Care)
Adopt an animal orphan and help Langley’s Critter Care wildlife refuge

Fundraiser for registered charity offers a chance to sponsor individual animals

Churches, including Langley's Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Joanne Lechner, Batch Foods head chef and owner, prepares the Langley meal maker’s popular “Gnocci Doklie Bowl” talian cuisine (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Local delivery and food pickup for seniors is way, way up during the pandemic

While in-person dining and catering has been hurt, pre-made meals are selling well

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on October 27, 2020. The City of Vancouver says it has purchased a former hotel at a major thoroughfare that can house about 65 units to accommodate homeless people. A joint news release by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and city says 2075 Kingsway, Days Inn by Wyndham Vancouver, will be ready for accommodation this November. The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen also announced a $51.5 million Rapid Housing Initiative for Vancouver that is expected to create 135 new affordable homes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Former Vancouver hotel to be converted to 65 units for homeless people by the fall

The former Days Inn on Kingsway will be ready to house people in November

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

Jury in 2017 found Tanpreet Kaur Athwal, aka Sonia Kaur Gill, guilty of first-degree murder in 2007 death of Amanpreet Bahia, 33

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

A GoFundMe campaign for Riley Stevens and his family has raised more than $5,700 since launching last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock mom of sick tot ‘totally blown away’ by donations, offers help

GoFundMe campaign to help family of Riley Stevens crests $5,700

Most Read