Thursday, June 25, 2009

Joint Meeting

Last night I attended the joint meeting of the Township of Langley Recreation, Culture & Parks Advisory Committee and the City of Langley Parks, Environment, Recreation & Culture Committee. It was at the new Langley Events Centre/Willoughby Community Centre. I have to say that this is a pretty impressive building. Coupled with the surrounding fields/park, it should serve the community for many years to come. On the sustainability front, it has a great storm water management system.

If there was one criticism I could think of, it would be that a large section of the site is dedicated to parking. The parking requirement is a result of the location and nature of the park and events centre, but my hope is that as the area around the centre grows some of that space can be put to other uses and the parking converted to structured parking. That would, of course, be several years down the road.

On the joint meeting front, we went through some of the major recreational and cultural projects and events that are going on in the Langleys. The Langley Events Centre was front and centre, but other projects included upgrades to the McLeod Athletic Park, Aldergrove Athletic Park, ToL Spirit Stage, 2010 BC Games, Canada Day, The Douglas Park Spirit Square, Al Anderson Pool, and Aldergrove Festival Days.

One interesting issue that was brought up was the fact that the Township manages bookings for all fields in the Township, City, and School District of Langley. Currently there is a user for Township fields, but not City fields. The Township wants to see the City implement user fees on City fields to make both the Township and the City field policy consistent. Fees can run anywhere from a $1 an hour to $30 an hour, so the fees are nominal.

Another interesting item is that a company called ERA is planting tree for free in municipalities in exchange for about 100 years worth of carbon credits. Both the City and Township of Langley have such contracts. It was noted that both government may need to be vigilant to ensure that ERA is keeping the planted trees maintained and not letting them die (which is apparently happening).

Finally, I brought up the idea of an integrated bike trail/lane network in the Langleys. I wanted to know if each municipality was working on securing senior level government grants to improve our cycling infrastructure. Currently there isn’t too much going on, but hopefully that will change.

It was great to be at the new events centre and it is a real value to have committees from both the Township and City of Langley come together and share ideas. I hope this happens again soon.

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