(PQB News file photo)

Qualicum Beach council debates future plans regarding Eaglecrest Golf Club

Motion against any town purchase of course voted down

If the price is right, Town of Qualicum Beach council could discuss the possibility of purchasing the Eaglecrest Golf Club.

The issue was discussed by town council at its regular meeting on Oct. 6.

Coun. Scott Harrison raised concerns about the state of some the greens no longer in use since the club reduced its course layout from 18 to nine holes earlier this year. They have reportedly not been watered, which Harrison said has frustrated members of the Eaglecrest Residents Association.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach’s Eaglecrest Golf Club plans to reduce course layout from 18 to 9 holes

Harrison made a motion that the Town of Qualicum Beach will not purchase the Eaglecrest Golf Course nor any portion of the property thereof. It did not pass, as councillors Teunis Westbroek, Anne Skipsey and Robert Filmer voted against.

Westbroek indicated the motion is “entirely premature.”

“We have no idea what the price would be on this golf course,” he said.

Westbroek said when the town bought the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club for close to a $1 million, there was a of opposition but it ended up to be huge success for the town.

“We’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback,” he said. “It’s a financial benefit… and I think for us to look at this in the long term would be positive.”

Westbroek said there is a lot to be considered if the golf course is available for sale. The owners, he said, had asked him if the town was interested in buying it.

“I said, ‘well it depends on the price,’” said Westbroek. “So let’s just leave it at that.”

Harrison indicated a price tag of $6 million to $7 million was mentioned. He explained if it doesn’t go to referendum, this would cash out the town’s reserves entirely and would lead to taxes going up between 10 to 15 per cent.

“I don’t think spending every dollar on this is really advisable,” said Harrison.

Filmer said the town should not own any golf courses and leave it to private businesses. He said the town is already investing more money into the current one which taxpayers will be subsidizing for a long time.

“It is a big financial burden and it doesn’t serve every resident in town you know although we do have a lot of golfers in town,” said Filmer. “It doesn’t serve every resident. So when we put a lot of tax dollars into something that doesn’t serve every resident I have a problem wrapping my head around that.”

But Filmer agreed council should not be limiting themselves.

“If an opportunity comes up, and if council wants to debate it, probably everyone’s gathered from my comments that I won’t be in favour if we have to purchase another golf course,” said Filmer. “But I don’t think we should limit ourselves on that discussion.”

Skipsey also did not agree with the motion, but added it doesn’t mean she would endorse buying Eaglecrest.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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