The St. Andrews Lodge is being refurbished and upgraded. (PQB News file photo)

The St. Andrews Lodge is being refurbished and upgraded. (PQB News file photo)

St. Andrews Lodge society concurs with voters on refurbushing funds question

Group doesn’t want taxpayers to pay for the work

The St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society concurs with Qualicum Beach voters.

A majority of the electorate said “no” to the non-binding question “should the town spend the necessary funds, up to a maximum of $700,000, to refurbish the St. Andrew’s Lodge building?” on Oct. 15.

The society wants Qualicum Beach residents to know the society did not ask for the question to be posed and did not request any funding from the town and its taxpayers.

The society aims to uphold the promise they made to the residents of Qualicum Beach that the preservation and restoration of the lodge would not become a financial burden to the town and its taxpaying citizens.

“Present economic conditions, inflation and increased municipal taxes are a matter of great concern to everyone and the society feels very strongly that the financial burden of supporting the lodge restoration should not fall upon the homeowners of Qualicum Beach,” the society stated in a press release.

READ MORE: Qualicum First Nation gifts town with name ‘Saahtlam’ for former St. Andrews Park

If the question had been approved and acted upon, it meant the town would have had to collect $1.5 million in taxes in order to retain the $700,000 mentioned, as only about 45 per cent of collected taxes remains in town coffers. Based on the number of households in Qualicum Beach, that amounts to an additional $315 on each property tax bill.

Those who want to support the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society in its quest to restore the lodge would benefit more by simply sending a donation to the society, which can then issue a tax deductible receipt.

“That make more sense than burdening the entire town with a project that was never supposed to cost local citizens anything,” the society said.

If you would like to make a donation, refer to the society’s website at www.salhacs.ca and you can either donate through GoFundMe or you can mail a cheque. If you would prefer to do an e-transfer please contact the society at standrewslodgeqb@gmail.com for instructions.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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