Qualicum golf club officials take issue with councillor’s ‘financial burden’ remarks

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Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club officials are not happy with comments made by Coun. Robert Filmer at a recent meeting.

The club wrote a letter to express concern over Filmer’s remark that the club is a “financial burden,” in a discussion about whether the town should consider purchasing golf courses in the future, during council’s Oct. 6 meeting.

The letter pointed out the club makes an annual lease payment of $76,000 to the town, in addition to $50,000 per year to repay a reserve fund loan for its clubhouse.

“I don’t apologize for any words I used and I don’t retract back any words that I’ve used,” Filmer said during council’s Oct. 27 meeting.

He added the town pays for projects on the course, such as rebuilding workshops and paving a dirt path.

“Those types of projects are going to come at a huge cost to the town,” Filmer said. “It’s going to be very unlikely that the golf course pays us in full for those things unless it’s spread over a large amount of years. And those are the types of things the public needs to understand.”

The letter also mentioned over half the club’s fees come from non-members (54 per cent) and many people who play the course are from out of town.

“In its way every citizen is served by our facility in the same way they are served by the town’s other recreational assets, even though all assets may not be used by all citizens. We all share in the town’s character and traditions,” the letter reads.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek said the golf club improves the quality of life in Qualicum Beach by helping residents stay active.

“It’s not just about dollars and centre either. It’s about the whole culture, the attractiveness of the golf course — where it sits when people drive in [to town],” he said.

Westbroek made a motion to send a card, signed by the mayor, to the club’s volunteer board, thanking the members for their work. The motion was passed unanimously.

“It benefits the quality of life, but for a certain amount of residents, not all residents,” Filmer said. “If you walk through every neighbourhood and door knock on every door and said ‘how many times have you used Memorial Golf Course?’ or ‘do you use Memorial Golf Course?’ You’re going to get a lot of no’s.’”

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